Continuing his exclusive column for Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing , Kemsing’s very own world record holder and Olympic athlete, Tom Bosworth, joins us once again to talk about his preparation ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo this year.
“Sport can be a real rollercoaster of a journey. March saw my first race of the year, but it also saw my lowest month of training in 6months. I’ve been held back due to a neural issue, similar to the one I suffered back in 2019 limiting the use of my right leg! So getting round 20km, with just one leg is a lot easier said than done.
On Friday 26th March I competed over 20km at Kew Gardens at the British Athletics Olympic 20km race walk trials. I already had the qualifying time of 1:21:00 for the 20km walk, so all that was required of me was to finish in the top 2 positions to guarantee my place at Tokyo this summer. Having been injured for the last 6 weeks my biggest concern was making it through the race, I also had to then hope my leg held up and I was able to keep my technique together and not fall foul of the judges and then try and be either first or second.
Well, race day hit, and I my race plan was to sit in second place for as long as possible. It felt like the longest race I’d ever done (and it was one of the slowest for a long time). After just 5km the pains started shooting down my leg into my knee and I knew from that point it was going to be such a long day. I managed to hold onto second place despite the pain and the deflated feeling of being so far off my best, but I was relieved and overjoyed to confirm my place at my second Olympic Games. I can’t believe I’m going to be a double Olympian. I never dreamed reaching one games would be possible, let alone two.
So now for April it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll need to fix this issue as soon as possible and make up for the missed training. As soon as I’m fit and healthy we’ll be introducing some heat acclimatisation into training, most likely in the laboratory at Leeds Beckett University. Then all going well, I’ll aim to get an altitude or heat camp in overseas, depending on whether Boris let’s us!
With the next race not till mid May, I have just over six weeks to get myself back in some form of competitive place ahead of the European Race Walking Cup, which at the last two editions in both 2017 and 2019, I’ve placed fourth. So my aim would be of course a medal, but given the missed training, I’d just be very happy with being competitive, at the front of a race again.
I hope April brings a lot of hope and happiness as we get a little bit of our lives back and I’ll up date you in a few weeks time on my recovery! PS. did I forget to mention… I’m going to the Olympics!!”