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Suffolk race walker Callum Wilkinson picked for England’s Commonwealth Games 2018 squad

Great Britain's Callum Wilkinson after finishing 41st in the Men's 20km Race Walk during day ten of the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium. Picture: PA

Great Britain's Callum Wilkinson after finishing 41st in the Men's 20km Race Walk during day ten of the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium. Picture: PA

PA Wire

Suffolk’s rising athletics star Callum Wilkinson has been picked to represent England at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia, it has been announced this morning.

Great Britain's Callum Wilkinson rehydrates in the Men's 20km Race Walk in London. Picture: PAGreat Britain's Callum Wilkinson rehydrates in the Men's 20km Race Walk in London. Picture: PA

It will be the second major championships for race-walker Wilkinson, who finished 41st in the 20k at the World Athletics Championships in London in August.

The 20-year-old, from Moulton, near Newmarket, clocked 1hr 23mins 54 seconds mixing it with the world’s best in London and immediately targeted the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 2018.

And he has duly been picked, again in the 20k walk, for the Games next year.

He told us at the time: “I loved the whole experience, it was great, but a few days later and I’m still feeling a little disappointed.

Callum Wilkinson in action in London. Picture: PACallum Wilkinson in action in London. Picture: PA

“I have set myself high standards, and I pride myself on being a big scene performer, so in that way it was a bit of an ant-climax because I like to either set a personal best or win (he actually targeted a top-20 place in London).

- Wilkinson on his debut at World Championships

“It was certainly not my best performance, because I knew that I was in very good shape. But it was great fun and it’s all a learning curve for me.

“I’m on the way up the ladder, starting with these championships.

“My target is the Commonwealth Games, which are in Australia on the Gold Coast near Brisbane next April, followed by the European Championships in Berlin in August.

“I think I can be very competitive at the European Champs, if I can get it all right, having finished 10th in the European Cup earlier this year,” added Wilkinson, who is a former pupil at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.

- There’s more to come - Wilkinson

Team England Athletics team leader Martin Rush said: “We at England Athletics are delighted to be sending this team to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“The team is a real blend of experience and youth, featuring a number of athletes who performed well at last summer’s IAAF World Championships, as well as some who are making their senior international championships debuts.”

“With just 75 places available, selection was always going to be a difficult task given the number of high-performing English athletes, but we are happy that we are taking a team that will be ready to perform at their best in Australia.”

The Games will be held on the Gold Coast between April 4 and 15 next year.

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