Great Britain's Callum Wilkinson feeling positive and prepared for World Athletics Championships appearance in Doha
The heat and humidity have been one of the major talking points at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Doha, but Moulton race walker Callum Wilkinson is confident he is well prepared to deal with the conditions.
When Wilkinson lines up for tomorrow’s 20K race at 11.30pm local time (9.30pm BST), the temperature is expected to still be in and around the 30 degrees Celsius mark.
However, the 22-year-old has spent the last few months training for such temperatures.
“Racing at that time of night and in that heat is probably a once in a lifetime experience – it will be tough out there,” he said.
“I have spent the last four weeks training in South Africa and that has given me a great mix between heat and altitude.
“I have been in heat chambers to practice with the humidity as well, and it has all been beneficial.
“With the help of British Athletics I think we will be one of the best prepared teams for the conditions at the Champs.”
With regard to a target, the 5,000m outdoor British record holder is looking to finish inside the top 16.
The former Moulton Primary School pupil added: “That (top 16) would be a really good marker going into the Olympics next year.
“I am in the form of my life and I have been very thorough in the preparation, so maybe I could finish higher, but I would be pleased with top 16 and anything better than that would be fantastic.
"I will have to see where I am come the business end of the race. If I am in around the leading pack, then I will be fighting for every place possible."
This will be the ex-King Edward VI School student's second appearance at the Worlds, having finished 41st in front of a home London crowd two years ago.
It was a performance that disappointed Wilkinson, but he is determined to prove that he is a much different competitor this time around.
"I was unhappy with the last World Championships. The time and performance could have been better," he said.
"I am a completely different athlete now, both physically and mentally, and that is down to a lot of hard work over the last couple of years.
"I have also changed what I expect from myself and try to be better every single day. This has all happened in such a short space of time and I know that if I get it right I am capable of putting in a really good performance."
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More by this authorLiam Apicella