Callum Wilkinson executed the perfect plan to take his first senior national title and further enhance his growing reputation on Saturday.
The Moulton-based racewalker got his tactics spot on when landing this year’s Race Walking Association (RWA) National 10km Championship at Hillingdon in a personal best road race time of 46 minutes 22 seconds.
Victory in the race, which featured the likes of leading racewalking brothers Dominic and Dan King, comes less than a month after the 17-year-old secured a bronze medal in the 5,000-metre final at this year’s Sainsbury’s British Championships.
“I was absolutely delighted with the win and it gave me a great buzz the whole weekend,” said Wilkinson. “It is hard to tell which achievement is the best as they are both good in different ways, but the win at the weekend probably just edges it as it is my biggest win so far.
“A big thanks goes out to all involved with team Wilkinson, that is Steve Wilson, Tim Wilson, Robert Lang, and my coaches Ron Wallwork and Mick Graham as they are a huge part of my success.”
With his two conquerors from Birmingham, Tom Bosworth and Jamie Higgins, both absent from Saturday’s race the teenager made his mind up in the run-up to the event that forceful tactics would be the way to go.
“I asked Mick (Graham) what I should do as I knew that I could keep up with Dan and Dom for the first five kilometres based on my Birmingham time,” said Wilkinson. “He said to give it a go and attack straight from the start and put in a quick five kilometres before seeing what I had left to hang on,
“I was aiming to do my first kilometre around the 4.35 mark, but I did it in 4.18 before slowing down in kilometres two and three.
“As I pushed in the fourth kilometre, Dom slowed down and I drew level, shortly after he pulled out. I then pulled further clear of Dan to go on and take the win.
“It really was the perfect execution of my tactics which over the last six months have really improved.
“To win such a title is a real confidence booster and an amazing achievement at my age.”
Although Wilkinson has a few small races pencilled in his calendar over the next few weeks his next major outing will not take place until September when making a trip up to Lincolnshire.
“The next big event for me is the English Schools Championships in Boston,” said Wilkinson. “It’s a five- kilometre track race and I imagine that I will start as favourite so I will be looking for the win.”