Callum Wilkinson is targeting a memorable year after kicking 2016 off in sublime style by breaking yet another British race walking record.
The 18-year-old, who is from Moulton but currently studying at University in Leeds, picked up where he left off last year by clinching the Under-20 3km title at the England Athletics and Area Indoor Race Walking Championships in Sheffield, in a new record time of 11 minutes and 39.87 seconds.
In doing so, Wilkinson, who beat his nearest rival and previous record holder Cameron Corbishley by half a minute, broke the fourth of five possible junior records, having set new best times in the 10km, 2km and one mile disciplines in the past 12 months.
“I’m elated to have broken another record.
“It is the fourth I have broken in the last year and so that gives me great confidence,” said Wilkinson.
“It was a pretty comfortable performance and that gives me a great deal of confidence.
“It is a massive boost to break another record and I feel like I’m going into every race thinking I’ll break another one.
“It’s got to the point where people are mentioning it to me before I do which is a little weird.
“People I respect are telling me I’m the most promising race walker we’ve had as a country and that is lovely to hear.
“That sort of achievement won’t make or break my season but it is still a great achievement.
“I’ve won another title but ultimately it shows that I’m capable of competing this season and my training is paying off.
“The best thing I can do is perform to my highest level in every race and that is what I did. Clinching the title and record in the first race of the year is really promising.”
And with his latest entry into the history books sealed, Wilkinson is now setting his sights on sealing his berth for the World Junior Championships in Poland, in July.
“Gaining another record shows this could be another big year for me but there is still a lot to do,” he added.
“I have my first 10km of the new year in March which will be a qualifier for the World Championships in June.
“If I can replicate my 10km record time from last season then I will qualify, so that is the aim.
“I’m in a good place but I’m still in a period of heavy training and preparation.”