British Athletics has today announced eight athletes, including a full men’s team for the second successive edition, to compete at the European Race Walking Cup in Alytus, Lithuania on Sunday 19 May.
Callum Wilkinson (club: Enfield & Haringey; Andi Drake) earns selection a matter of days after moving to second on the all-time UK list for the 20km with a World Championship qualifying standard, new personal best and British under-23 record of 81:34 on the way to sixth in Podebrady at the weekend.
Wilkinson’s performance in the Czech Republic followed two weeks on from Cameron Corbishley (Medway & Maidstone; Drake) and Dominic King (Colchester; George Nibre) both hitting the World Championship qualifying standard for the 50km race walk in Slovakia. Corbishley moved into second on the all-time UK rankings and set a British under-23 record of 3:53:20 on his first outing over 50km and both Corbishley and King will race over the shorter 20km in Alytus.
Completing the full squad of four to contest the 20km is British record holder Tom Bosworth (Tonbridge; Drake). Bosworth was the first British athlete to clock a World Championships qualifying standard, doing so at the European Championships in Berlin last year, and has fond memories of the European Race Walking Cup having achieved the best ever individual finish by a Brit at the last edition in 2017 when he placed fourth.
All four of the men selected raced in the 2017event, achieving another best ever performance as they placed fourth in the team standings. For the women, Bethan Davies (Cardiff; Drake) and Heather Lewis (Pembrokeshire; Martin Bell) are also returning from the British team of two years ago to compete in the women’s 20km. Lewis earned selection, like Wilkinson, having also lowered her personal best in the Czech Republic at the weekend, posting 95:04.
Erika Kelly (Northern; Steve Partington) completes the trio and will make her senior international British debut in Alytus just over a year on from competing with Davies and Lewis at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Kelly is the second athlete from the Isle of Man to earn selection for a British team this year after Joe Reid (Cardiff; Matt Elias) made his senior international British debut at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March.
Christopher Snook (Aldershot Farnham & District; Verity Snook) is the sole junior selected and is in good form as he returns to the European Race Walking Cup having also competed in 2017, setting a new personal best to finish second in the age-group 10km in Podebrady on Saturday.
Team Leader Andi Drake said: “I am delighted to announce a very strong British team to compete at the European Race Walking Cup in Alytus. Already this year we have seen some extremely promising performances from our race walkers, several already hitting world qualification standards, and we look forward to seeing what we can do in Lithuania next month. Seven of the eight athletes selected raced in the event two years ago and it is always a great opportunity to compete against the best in Europe and we expect to be competitive across the board.”
The British team selected for the European Race Walking Cup Alytus 2019:
Tom Bosworth (Tonbridge; Andi Drake)
Cameron Corbishley (Medway & Maidstone; Andi Drake)
Dominic King (Colchester; George Nibre)
Callum Wilkinson (Enfield & Haringey; Andi Drake)
Bethan Davies (Cardiff; Andi Drake)
Erika Kelly (Northern; Steve Partington)
Heather Lewis (Pembrokeshire; Martin Bell)
Christopher Snook (Aldershot Farnham & District; Verity Snook)