Callum Hawkins’ preparations for the Commonwealth Games got a lift when he finished third at the Vitality Big Half in London yesterday – just five seconds behind race winner Sir Mo Farah.
The British duo were locked in a three-way scrap for victory with Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru until the final 500 metres before the four-time Olympic champion kicked clear to finish in 61:40.
But Hawkins, whose mum Sandra was at the wheel during an epic eight-hour drive through blizzards to reach London on Friday evening, will now jet to Australia tomorrow with his plans right on track.
“It was tough,” the Scot, 25, said. “The conditions, everything which has been happening this week, it’s been tough but it was good to get out and race. It’s hard to gauge how fast the course was or how slow it was. I’d like to have run a bit quicker with my prep because I felt I was in a lot better shape time-wise. But it was still good to get out there and compete.”
Farah, now retired from the track, revealed he could return to international duties by competing in the marathon at next year’s world championships in Doha. But he claims Hawkins can give him a run for his money all the way to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“Callum is a great athlete,” Farah said. “He works hard. You can’t take that away from him. And he put in a great performance as always.
“It’s important we show what is possible. Over the years, people always compared British people to the Kenyans and said we could never achieve. I don’t see that. We seem to build this barrier. But anything is possible if you train as hard as Callum and Andy Butchart and many other people are showing coming through.”