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NU GB&NI team for European Cup Race Walking

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Johanna Jackson

UK Athletics today announced five athletes in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team to compete at the European Race Walking Cup in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on Sunday 20 May.

 

In recent years, Leamington Spa has successfully hosted European Athletics Association Race Walk Grand Prix events, but this will be the first time the race organisers have hosted the European Cup.

 

Team leader Andrew Drake says it is an opportunity for some team members to continue their development towards this summer’s major championships and beyond.

 

Included in the quintet is Johanna Jackson (Redcar Race Walking Club), who won the Women’s 20km at last weekend’s UKA/RWA Championships at University of Warwick, Coventry in 1:38:34, 26 seconds inside the UKA selection guidelines for the European Under 23 Championships that take place in Debrecen, Hungary on 15-18 July. 

 

Norwich Union GB&NI teenagers Ben Wears (Redcar Race Walking Club) and Rebecca Mersh (City of Sheffield AC) also tasted victory at the weekend, picking up gold in the junior men’s and women’s 10km events respectively.

 

Wears has already bettered the selection guideline of 46:00.00 for July’s IAAF World Youth Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, with a clocking of 44:16.00 in March. Mersh meanwhile will be aiming towards the European Junior Championships selection guideline of 48:45.00.

 

The team is completed by seniors Daniel King (Colchester Harriers) and former Commonwealth silver medallist Lisa Kehler (Wolverhampton and Bilston AC), both of whom will race over 20km.

 

Drake, who is also the UK National Coach for Race Walking, said: “This team is all about athletes who can develop towards achieving at the highest level. As a minimum, they should all be looking at producing a season’s best and some can realistically target personal bests.

 

“The challenge for our race walkers is to qualify for this summer’s Championships, perform well and then push on to become athletes capable of success at Olympic level.”

 

Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team:

 

Senior Men

Distance

Senior Women

Daniel King (Colchester Harriers)

20km

Johanna Jackson (Redcar RWC)

 

 

Lisa Kehler (Wolverhampton and Bilston AC)

Junior Men

 

Junior Women

Ben Wears (Reccar RWC)

10km

Rebecca Mersh  (City of Sheffield AC)