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Scot Hawkins seals Rio marathon place

Callum Hawkins crosses the finish line at the London Marathon

Scot Callum Hawkins has qualified for this summer’s Rio Olympics after finishing eighth in the London Marathon in a new personal best time of 2:10:52.

The 23-year-old, from the Kilbarchan Athletics Club in Renfrewshire, was the first British athlete to finish, well inside the 2:14:00 qualifying mark.

Tsegai Tewelde, a Glasgow-based Eritrean who claimed asylum in Britain, will also be in Rio after coming 12th.

Hawkins’ elder brother Derek could also go to Brazil after posting 2:12:57.

The 26-year-old – who finished 14th – will have to rely on a discretionary place when the British selectors announce their team on Tuesday.

“I was feeling brilliant at halfway and put in a big effort,” Callum Hawkins told BBC Sport.

“The last couple of miles I was really hurting and just tried to hold on. I think I got a slight negative split. I didn’t even run with a watch, I was just running.

“My brother had his own plan. We train together, live in the same house. I’m chuffed for him – to be in the top three, take a minute off his PB and maybe get selection as well.”

Tewelde, who claimed asylum in Britain after competing for Eritrea at the 2008 World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh and now runs for Shettleston Harriers, described qualifying for the Olympics as “unbelievable”.

The men’s race in London was won in the second fastest time ever, 2:03:04, by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge – just seven seconds outside the world record.

In the women’s race, the English duo of Ally Dixon and Sonia Samuels earned places in the British team for Rio. Dixon finished 13th in 2:31:53, one place ahead of Samuels (2:32:00).

Analysis from BBC commentator Steve Cram:

“What a brilliant performance from Callum. He ran a strong, clever race; he didn’t get carried away early on.

“I remember when Callum was a youngster watching him in cross-country races and it is great to see him come to such prominence.

“He was hurting, he was sore, but he kept it going and judged it perfectly.

“Derek Hawkins has also run a brilliant race. He hasn’t timed it quite right but he is inside the qualifying mark, although it is not a guaranteed spot. But it may well be good enough for the selectors to look favourably on him.”

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