Leeds Beckett success at World Race Walking Championships
This was the best performance by a British athlete since 1979. Callum was an agonising one second away from the bronze medal as he smashed his British record by over a minute, clocking 40 minutes 30 seconds. Callum is part of the National Race Walking Centre programme which is based at Leeds Beckett under Head Coach and part-time Lecturer in Sports Coaching, Dr Andi Drake.
Callum was in the thick of the action from the start of the race and was part of leading group of seven that passed the halfway point at 20.24. He maintained his position at the head of affairs over the next two laps. The crucial break came at eight kilometres when Callum, China’s Zhang and Mexican Chama moved away from the field. Callum fell off this group at the nine kilometre point and was passed by Spaniard Bermudez. Zhang took control on the last lap, with Bernudez moving into second ahead of Chama, with Callum 15 metres behind as they left the main lap for the last 300 metres onto the finishing track. Callum made a brave bid over the last 150 metres on the track and was closing rapidly on the bronze medallist Chama (40.29) as Zhang won in 40.23, from Bernudez (40.27). Callum’s time moves him to third on the UK all time senior list.
Speaking after the race, Callum said: “That was a brilliant race and it was great to be in the mix for the medals. I am gutted to finish fourth but at the same time I could not have done any more. This sets me up brilliantly for the World Junior Championships.”
Callum led the team to fifth place and was supported by Cameron Corbishley who is also based at the National Race Walking Centre and (I think it’s talking about Cameron but not sure?) who was 25th in his second fastest ever time of 43.27.
Alumni of Leeds Beckett University were well represented in the Men’s 20 kilometres. British record-holder Tom Bosworth made a positive start and was just behind the leading group passing halfway in 40.46 in 33rd place. Tom began to move through the field at the 12km point, but started to go through a bad patch at the 15km point having slipped to 38th (61.36). He was able to rally in the closing laps to come home in 34th in 82.55.
Tom was disappointed with his race: “I had a bit of niggle in my hip which wasn’t helped by the tight turns on the course. I had hoped for more, but this is still a solid performance in a very high quality field. I will now concentrate on securing my place in Rio at the Olympic Trials in Leeds on the 5 June and then look to improve on my placing significantly in Rio.”
Leeds Beckett graduate Quentin Rew set a new New Zealand record of 81.54 in 26th place having moved through the field from 48th at halfway. Competing for Ireland, Leeds Beckett alumnus Alex Wright was 55th in 84.46 and Brendan Boyce was 63rd in 85.38. In the senior women’s 20 kilometres National Race Walking Centre alumna Alana Barber representing New Zealand was 26th in a new national record of 92.48 which secured her qualification for the Olympic Games.Tom Bosworth is next in action in Leeds at Woodhouse Moor on Sunday 5 June in the British Grand Prix of Race Walking and British Olympic Trials - https://sites.google.com/site/britishgrandprixofracewalking/home