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Callum eyes top-10 finish

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Callum Wilkinson believes he is in the best possible shape as he looks to finish inside the top 10 at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin.

HIGH HOPES: Callum Wilkinson
HIGH HOPES: Callum Wilkinson

Saturday’s outing in the German capital will be the latest in a growing list of senior championship appearances for the Moulton race walker, who has previously represented his country in the World Athletics Championships and earlier this year at the Commonwealth Games.

Wilkinson, 21, has recently been training at altitude in Switzerland, and is delighted with his condition.

“It has been going amazing in Switzerland,” he said.

“It is a confidence boost because I have never felt this good training at altitude.

“Each session has been really strong and I am getting those little positive signs that you want heading into a big championship race.

“I have felt better over the last three weeks than I did heading into the Commonwealths and I performed well there (finished seventh).

“I am in the sort of shape to put in my best performance, now I just need to race smart.

“Between now and the race I need to make sure everything else is right in terms of tactics, so I do not waste the confidence training has given me.”

Prior to the Commonwealths in Australia, the former Moulton Primary School student set himself the target of a top-10 finish.

And that also goes for this weekend – an ambition he believes is ‘very achievable’ up against the best from across the continent.

“I should be targeting the top 10,” added Wilkinson.

“The competitive athlete in me would love to say I want to finish even better than that, but top 10 would be great.

“I think I am around 15th in the rankings going into it, so I will need five or six of the field to get it wrong and me to produce the goods.

“It is achievable, just like it was in the Commonwealths.

“As long as I come off the course knowing that I have given it everything, that is all I can ask of myself and hopefully that is enough.”

In a few years’ time, Wilkinson could also have a familiar travel companion to these type of championships.

Younger brother George, 16, is impressing out on the course at present and looks to have a bright future.

“He has a long way to go still, but he is doing well and performed better than me at a recent event,” said the former World Under-20 champion.

“He is in the best possible hands with (coaches) Ron (Wallwork) and Mick (Graham).”