IAAF Race Walking Challenge, Dudince, Slovakia, 19 March
Tom Bosworth (coach: Andi Drake) continued his remarkable record breaking form by smashing Ian McCombie’s nearly 28-year-old British 20km walk record with a stunning victory in the latest IAAF Race Walking Challenge competition. The 26-year-old pride of Tonbridge Athletics Club made it four UK records in three months as he followed his two indoor 3000m performances in Sheffield and his 5km record in Bratislava by bettering the 82:03 that McCombie set for 20km at the Seoul Olympics back in September 1988, one year and four months before Bosworth was born.
Bosworth finished in 80:41, improving his own PB by 1:39. He powered through the halfway mark in 39:58 and only suffered a marginal drop in pace over the second half, winning by 11 seconds from Italy’s Matteo Giuppani, the runner up in 80:52, with Sweden’s Ato Ibanez third in 80:54.
“I know I’m in the form of my life and have been desperate to break the 20km record to complete my set,” said Bosworth. “I knew the form I was in I should by pass it and send a real message to the rest of the world. I did that and I know I have more in the tank to give. Exciting times for the World Race Walking Cup in May and of course Rio.”
Bosworth’s time was comfortably inside the British Athletics Olympic qualifying standard of 80:24, the fourth time he has finished inside the mark of 84:00.
The 50km races incorporated the official British Athletics Olympic trial and the first British walker across the line in the men’s event was Dominic King (George Nibre). The Colchester Harrier finished 32nd in 4:08:00. The British Athletics Olympic qualifying standard is 4:02:00. King clocked a lifetime best of 3:59:22 in the German Championships in October last year. His twin brother, Daniel King (Dominic King) finished 39th in 4:19:12.
Callum Wilkinson (Mick Graham) was a clear winner of the under-20 10km event in 41:36 – just five seconds outside of the British junior record he set in Coventry earlier this month.