COLCHESTER race walker Dominic King is feeling on top of the world after claiming a magnificent hat-trick of gold medals on his Masters debut.

The double Olympian was victorious in the 5,000 metres, ten kilometre and 20km race walks World Masters Championships, in Malaga.

Dominic, who was competing in the M35 category, also scooped a team bronze at the event, which took place in humid conditions in Spain.

More than 8,000 athletes from over 100 nations took part across all ages, ranging from 35 through to 101 years old.

The Colchester Harriers athlete said he is delighted to come away from the competition having successfully achieved his goal of three race wins.

He told the Daily Gazette: “To come back with three gold medals was great - I’m really pleased to call myself a world champion and to do it in three separate events was great.

“I went out with the hope to try and bring back a medal in each of the events but there were some other good guys in there, including my brother Daniel.

“The conditions were tough which had an impact on times but in some ways, it meant that I could just focus on winning races.

“The times were a bit slower than I had wanted but that comes down a bit to the weather.

“Race walking is a technical sport and I only received one warning, so that was pleasing.

“It’s the first time I’ve competed at the event and it was a good competition to take part in.

“It’s also the first time that I’d competed in three different races, in a ten-day period.

“That was the biggest challenge, making sure that you prepared properly and structured your time.

“It’s a little bit different in that anyone can compete in the World Masters Championships.

“They apply through their federation and there are no restrictions, unlike events like the Olympics.

“There are no qualifying times to stop anyone from taking part – anyone can have a go.

“The other thing is that there’s no support from the governing body.

“It cost me well over £1,000 to compete and I think that’s something that has to be looked at to attract more competitors.

“With things like travel, kit and accommodation costs, it soon adds up.”

Dominic’s twin brother Daniel King also took part in the event, winning bronze in the 10k.

He also competed in the 20k, with work commitments preventing him from taking part in more races.

Dominic added: “I felt sorry for Dan in that he was full of cold a week leading up to his race and that had a massive impact on his performance.

“He was bitterly disappointed with his 20k.

“He did very well in the 10k but had he not had his cold, he’d have been capable of getting second place.”

The King brothers were eligible to compete their first Masters competition after turning 35 in May.

Dominic added: “Some people might question why we competed in the Masters but why would we not?

“We started race walking when we were ten years old and it’s a natural progression.

“The perception of the event comes down to public opinion.

“It doesn’t have as big a public profile as say the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games but that’s not to take anything from it.

“It might need more people to promote it but I found it really inspiring watching the older Masters athletes taking part, some of whom were in their 80s and 90s.

“What was truly amazing was seeing the sheer number of people in the older age groups who are getting involved with athletics.”