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Wilkinson looking to surpass brother

George Wilkinson has been following in his older brother Callum’s footsteps – but hopes to one day march past him.

Top podium spot for George Wilkinson after winning the England Athletics Under-17 Championships, at 15-years-old (3948948)
Top podium spot for George Wilkinson after winning the England Athletics Under-17 Championships, at 15-years-old (3948948)

The 16-year-old from Moulton won the 5km walk at the England Athletics Under-17 Championships to emulate his 21-year-old brother’s earlier achievements.

But he said his real motivation comes from a drive ‘to beat him one day, but there’s a lot of ground to cover’.

“It can be tough being the younger brother,” he said. “I’m always ‘George, brother of Callum’.

“It has advantages and disadvantages, it sets a big target to chase and adds pressure that pushes me further in training.

“But then people assume what Callum did at my age was the norm, and it wasn’t.

“He was unbelievable at my age, and people expect even more from me.

“But getting this title has given me a big boost and motivated me to keep trying to improve and keep pace with Callum.”

Wilkinson set a personal best time of 24 minutes and 21 seconds to win the event held last month at the Bedford International Stadium, with his nearest rival Matthew Crane, from Bexley, more than 300m adrift of the Suffolk walker.

But the former County Upper student, who has started a course at West Suffolk College, said it still came as a shock.

His main opposition heading into the race was Irish walker Oisin Lane, the winner of the recent Schools International meeting in Scotland, where Wilkinson was runner-up.

They dominated the race, opening a substantial gap within a couple of laps and just after covering 1km, Lane moved clear.

However, Wilkinson started to gradually claw back the deficit with 1,500m to go and, 500m from the finish line, he found himself in the lead as his rival was disqualified.

“The way it went was a big shock,” he said. “I was about 30 metres behind or so when he was disqualified, with two laps to go.

“But I’m still really pleased to win it.

“It was a PB-time and I didn’t get any cards in the race either, so that was nice.

“I think the best thing about it though was that my technique was there and hopefully I can now lower my best time even more.”

He said he wants to lower his time by more than two minutes as he targets a personal best of 22-minutes.

“That’s going to take time though, so I have to be patient, and work hard.

“I’m hoping to also step up to the 10km distance next year, and will target a 45-minute sort of time.”

He said he would be doing that as part of a move into the U20 classification of the sport, once he turns 17 next year. He hopes this will mark more competition domestically, something he currently lacks.

His focus is now on retaining his English School s title on September 15.

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