National junior 10,000m walk record is broken as GB team strikes its first gold of the week in Poland
Callum Wilkinson took Britain’s first medal of the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on Saturday morning, crossing the line in the 10,000m race walk in a UK junior record of 40:41.62.
Beating silver medallist Jonathan Amores of Ecuador by less than two seconds, he clocked the fastest junior time of 2016. Behind Amores’ 40:43.33, Turkey’s Salih Korkmaz took bronze with 40:45.53.
Wilkinson was more than 56 seconds quicker than the national junior mark which left him seventh at last year’s European Junior Championships.
He led most of the way en route to going to second on the UK senior all-time list, behind Ian McCombie’s 40:06.65.
Korkmaz had led during the early stages but the Brit took over in the fourth kilometre and increased the pace. He covered the last half in a shade under 19:30 – inside his PB and a time which only four of his compatriots have ever beaten in a 5000m race walk. He completed the last kilometre in just over 3:44.
“Every lap of the track made me more and more confident,” said Wilkinson. “I can’t believe I did it. I knew I could, but I can’t believe it. I’m just in shock. It’s everything I wanted this year.”
Meanwhile, two other titles were decided during the morning session of the fifth day of this event. Ethiopia’s Kalkidan Fentie won gold in the 5000m with a PB of 15:29.64. Kenya’s Emmaculate Chepkirui and Bahrain’s Bontu Rebitu took the silver and bronze respectively.
China’s Ting Chen won the triple jump with a best leap of 13.85m. The second-round PB was enough to beat Greece’s Konstadina Romeou (13.55m) into second, while Georgiana-Iuliana Anitei of Romania was third with 13.49m.
Britain’s George Evans scraped into the discus final with a best of 57.88m, but team-mate George Armstrong failed to progress as he went out to 54.39m.
In the 4x400m relay heats, Jamaica’s women (3:33.18) and Botswana’s men (3:03.75) were the quickest to go through to the final.
Results can be found here.