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Team GB race walker Callum Wilkinson fully focused on Olympic Games in Tokyo

There may still be some uncertainty surrounding the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but for Moulton’s Callum Wilkinson it is very much business as usual.

The Games – already put back 12 months due to Covid-19 – are due to get under way on July 23, with Wilkinson’s race walking event scheduled for August 5.

Organisers remain adamant it will go ahead as planned, but there are numerous doubters, many of whom question how feasible it will be to stage such a big competition during a global pandemic.

Callum Wilkinson is focused on the Olympics this summer. Picture: Mark Easton
Callum Wilkinson is focused on the Olympics this summer. Picture: Mark Easton

But as far as Wilkinson is concerned, he is having to shut out the noise and press ahead as if he will definitely be on the start-line wearing the Great Britain vest.

“I’m having to train as normal,” said the former Moulton Primary School pupil.

“I was training in South Africa when the latest lockdown was announced, which was lucky in a way because I could still carry on.

“It’s a bit of a strange one to be honest. All of the information we are getting as athletes from the stakeholders at the moment is that everything is going ahead.

“You’ve got to try to not read too many reports about it, with all of the doubts, because the organisers are very adamant.

“As an athlete, it is good news if it goes ahead. We kept training last year, even after it was called off, and now I’m preparing for it to happen this year. It would be very sad if it ended up not happening again, but I have to prepare for it to go ahead.”

With the 23-year-old continuing to clock up the miles ahead of the British Olympic trials in March, he is feeling in positive shape.

But while being in good physical condition in an Olympic year is essential, it’s equally important to be in the right place mentally.

“I’m lucky that I love what I do and cannot think of anything else I’d rather being doing,” added Wilkinson, who also attended King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.

“The mental side of things is very important, especially at the moment. You’ve got to be resilient because things change often.

“It’s a skill as much as getting yourself in the best shape because unknowns are currently been thrown into the path.

“It’s hard not to enjoy being an elite athlete, but it’s not always easy. You’d be lying if you said you sprung out of bed every morning and think I can’t wait to get started. Some times every fibre of your body wants to stay in bed.

“But you want to be the best you can be, especially in an Olympic year when it’s so important to be at your peak.”

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