‘I hope Derek can join me in Japan’ – Callum Hawkins

Saturday 28th December 2019

Callum Hawkins firmly believes his brother Derek can join him in Japan next summer – and make it a family double at the Olympics for the second time.

The Kilbarchan AAC duo both represented GB and NI at Rio in 2016 with Callum savouring a superb run for ninth place while Derek overcame a build-up severely afflicted by injury to finish.

Callum was named last week by British Athletics as being nominated for pre-selection for Japan to the British Olympic Association.

It means there are two more places available via the London Marathon ‘trial race’ with Mo Farah back concentrating on 10,000m on the track.

The British Athletics men’s standard for Japan is 2:11.30 with Derek having clocked a PB of 2:12:49 in Frankfurt

‘There are slots available now at London and hopefully Derek can make it,’ said Callum.

‘The Olympic standard for British Athletics is 2:11.30 and I think he is capable of that. He ran a PB in Frankfurt (2:12.49) and I think he had a bit more to come that day.

‘So we will see how that goes with him and a couple of other Brits come London. I’d love him to be there. We were both selected for Rio in 2016 but at that time he had a real struggle with injury in the last few months and it was all about just making the start-line.

‘It would be a nice achievement for two brothers to make it twice to the Olympics in the marathon.’

Callum, fourth in the last two World champs events in London and in Doha, feels the competition in Sapporo will be even harder come next August.

‘I’m not in any doubt that the level of competition in Japan will be even tougher than Doha,’ he said.

‘That’s just the way I feel because I’m sure the very fact it is the Olympics will motivate people even more and there will be greater depth to the top 10 or the top 20 or whatever. Making the top 10 again will be really tough and the conditions could be difficult, too, even though they’ve moved it.

‘I won’t have any fear, though. I will go out there feeling no pressure and, assuming everything has gone well in the build-up, I will really go for it. With a marathon, it comes down to how you cope and how you feel on the day.’

As it stands, he could be making a trip east even before the main event: with a half marathon in Japan on the radar for family Hawkins.

‘I’ve been out to Japan before,’ he recalled.

‘I was due to run the Fukuoka Marathon at the end of 2018 but a hamstring injury prevented that, but we went on the trip anyway and got an idea of the place.

‘We’re firming up the race-plan at the moment but one of the half marathons could be over in Japan, although not at the Olympic venue.’



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