Wilkinson tipped for future major medal honours

TIPPED FOR THE TOP: Race walker Callum Wilkinson has been tipped to medal at a major championships in the future
TIPPED FOR THE TOP: Race walker Callum Wilkinson has been tipped to medal at a major championships in the future

Callum Wilkinson has been tipped to one day medal at a major championships after the race walking ace was handed his first Great Britain vest.

The claim came from mentor Ron Wallwork who, along with the help of coach Mick Graham, has helped guide the 17-year-old from a novice, just three years ago, to now face the prospect of his Great Britain junior debut at the European Race Walking Cup in Murcia, Spain next month.

And having seen his meteoric progression, Wallwork has no reservations that the Bury St Edmunds King Edward VI Upper School pupil has the potential to continue his development in the near future.

“I believe he has the potential to medal at a major games,” said Wallwork having seen the youngster defend his national Under-20s title at Hillingdon on Saturday in a time of 45.03 minutes.

“He certainly has the potential to go to an Olympic Games.

“Rio 2016 will be too soon for him but the Olympics afterwards in Tokyo is definitely a target.

“He has come a long way in a short space of time since seeing him three years ago, and everyone that is connected to him is incredibly proud.

“His next target will be to walk under 43 minutes to qualify for the European Track and Field Championships in July.

“He will need a big performance before then but he has a great platform to build on to achieve that.”

However, despite lavishing praise on the youngster, Wallwork was also quick to warn Wilkinson that reaching the pinnacle of his sport will not come easily.

“Like all sports, it will depend on his desire to want to do it,” he added.