Cardiff tune-up keeps Hawkins ticking over ahead of Olympic trial
CALLUM HAWKINS believes his efforts at the IAAF world halfmarathon championships in Cardiff were the perfect rehearsal ahead of next month’s Olympic marathon trial.
The 23-year-old Scot pulled out a late charge to finish 15th in 62 minutes and 51 seconds as Mo Farah became the first British medallist in the event since 1993 by landing bronze behind Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor. And Hawkins – whose brother Derek completed his own build-up for the selection race with victory in the adjoining mass event – claims his final tune-up can put him on track for Rio.
“This was certainly a big tester ahead of London,” he said. “It threw me into the marathon zone so it was really useful. This race was different to the usual half-marathon circuit. There are a lot more guys in there so I could just keep picking people off today and we got a good group going which is better than being on your own.”
A disappointed Farah now plans to return to his Oregon base to prepare for the defence of his two Olympic titles this summer.
And in tough conditions, he admitted he had no answer for Kamworor who repeated his 2014 triumph despite falling at the start to underline he will be a significant threat to the Briton on the track in Brazil. The Kenyan set a new championship record of 59 minutes 10 seconds.
“With great support from the home crowd it would have been nice to have come here and get the win but a better athlete won on the day,” said Farah after running 59 minutes 59 seconds, the fastest time by a European this year. “Those guys were strong, they went for it and I couldn’t quite keep with them. I looked at the 10k pace and they were just going for it, then for quite a bit of it I was on my own.
“It’s very difficult running alone and without a team up with you but it’s one of those things – you just have to go with it.”
Farah remains very much focused on delivering again on the track in Brazil in August. He added: “Rio is definitely the aim. The guys are going to be strong in Rio, so I am going to work hard and this has just given me massive motivation.”
Peres Jepchirchir, meanwhile, made it a Kenyan double with victory in the women’s race in a time of 67:31.