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Callum Wilkinson ceases 52-year British drought

Callum Wilkinson ended a wait of more than half a century for a Great British athlete to win a global race walking title by clinching gold at the World Under-20 Athletics Championships on Saturday.

Not since Ken Matthews at the 1964 Olympic Games in Toyko had a competitor wearing the British vest triumphed on the international stage.

However, that all changed in Bydgoszcz. Poland, as Moulton-based Wilkinson finished the 10km ahead of the field in a world-leading time of 40:41.62 minutes.

Tributes have poured in for the 19-year-old since his achievement, including one from former British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, who tweeted: “What a morning for @CWilko97 World Junior Champion 10k walk leading from 4km and smashing the last 2k.”

Meanwhile, leading British race-walker Tom Bosworth added: “We’ve won many medals in the race walk over the years, but not one for a long time. @CWilko97 has started a revival of GB walking.”

As for Harry Hughes, of Bury St Edmunds, he finished seventh in the final of the men’s javelin event.

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