World Athletics Championships: Callum Hawkins misses out on marathon medal

World Athletics Championships: Callum Hawkins misses out on marathon medal

Callum Hawkins had been seeking to become the first British man to win a marathon medal at the World Championships
2019 World Athletics Championships
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha Dates: 27 September-6 October
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app; Listen live on BBC Radio 5 Live; Live streams, clips and text commentary online.

Britain’s Callum Hawkins was only six seconds from a medal in the marathon at the World Championships as he finished fourth behind Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa.

The 27-year-old Scot, fourth at London 2017, caught the leading trio with about 1km to go before they broke away.

Desisa won in two hours 10.40 minutes, with compatriot Mosinet Geremew second and Kenyan Amos Kipruto third.

Hawkins’ brilliant performance comes 18 months after he collapsed while leading the marathon at the Commonwealth Games.

The conditions in Doha were far more tolerable than those in Australia and than those during the women’s marathon last week.

Hawkins looked as if he was out of contention when a group of five, including Desisa, broke away from the rest around the halfway mark.

However, Hawkins, who prepared for the race in a garden shed with heaters bought from a supermarket, got a second wind and caught the pack in the closing stages.

Just when it looked the 27-year-old would take the lead, the trio moved up the gears to ease away from the Briton.

The final stages saw the Ethiopians in a thrilling sprint for gold, which the 2013 silver medallist won.

‘The race of his life’ – analysis

Women’s world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe on BBC TV: “Given everything Callum has been through since the last World Championships, this is a phenomenal performance.

“He’s gutted. He knows how close he came. He was almost touching that medal; he was almost touching victory.

“He has now gained a huge amount of respect from marathon runners across the world. They will have watched that performance and they’ll be factoring him in for [next year’s] Tokyo [Olympics].”

Former world 1500m champion Steve Cram on BBC TV: “Callum is an absolute hero for this. It’s the race of his life, the performance of his life.

“He hasn’t been frightened of the conditions, of the people ahead of him, and he timed his effort superbly.

“That is one of the best performances by a British marathon runner. He was sensational.

“He should take away an immense sense of pride that he gave these guys a run for their money.”

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