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Wilkinson working towards the European Champs

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After booking his place in the European Championships last weekend, Callum Wilkinson will begin his preparations for Berlin at the British Athletics Championships on Sunday.

WORKING HARD: Callum Wilkinson
WORKING HARD: Callum Wilkinson

The Moulton athlete went into the British Grand Prix of Race Walking in Leeds knowing that a top two finish among his compatriots would secure his spot in the German capital come August.

And he did just that, finishing third overall but second to his countryman and race-winner Tom Bosworth, with Slovakia’s Miroslav Uradnik splitting the British pair.

Next on the agenda is the 5000m at the Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham this weekend, with Wilkinson planning to use the event to help get him in top shape for the Europeans.

“It was what I needed to do, finish second and secure automatic qualification for Berlin,” said the 21-year-old, who finished seventh at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

“It was not a good time and I did not feel particularly great – it was a bit of a struggle of a race.

“But it does not matter too much because the end result was the most important thing. I am not happy with the time, but I got in the top two and I am off to Berlin.

“I have a lot of fond memories of the Championships in Birmingham. Last year I went sub 19 for 5k for the first time.

“For me, it is all about getting a bit of race practice.

“I recently missed a full month of training because of illness, so this is the first step in making sure I am race-ready for Berlin.

“You have got to get in the rhythm of racing to make sure you are sharp for the big events.

“It feels like we have the reset button again after the Commonwealths, almost like my season is starting again. Now we build towards Berlin.”

His appearance in Berlin will mark another step on Wilkinson’s incredible rise since being crowned World Junior champion in 2016.

“I am at a stage now where getting the job done and qualifying for the big events is expected of me,” he added.

“I will soon have competed at every major championships over the last two years bar the Olympic Games.

“That is a very proud stat and a fact I can say about myself.

“I will have gone from four years as a novice to winning World Juniors, then hopefully in another four years the Olympics.

“I am very happy with my progress and believe I can make more improvements this year.”