Scot makes fine debut with 2:12:17 as Jonny Mellor also makes his mark, but other Brits suffer disappointment
Callum Hawkins made an excellent debut over 26.2 miles in the Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday as he went under the British Athletics’ selection standard for the Rio Olympics with 2:12:17.
The 23-year-old Kilbarchan AC runner was superbly consistent on the flat course, going through halfway in 66:22 and then covering the second half in 65:55 to finish 12th behind winner Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia (2:06:26).
Hawkins had been following up recent excellent half-marathon runs in the Morrisons Great North Run and Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, the latter in a PB of 62:42. He had been predicted to follow in the footsteps of brother Derek, who made his marathon debut in the same race in 2012 at the same age and ran 2:14:04.
Hawkins junior, who competed for Scotland over 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, is the second British man to gain British Athletics’ Rio target of 2:14:00 after Scott Overall ran 2:11:24 in Berlin in September.
Several of his compatriots had been looking possibles to follow him into Rio contention earlier in the race.
Jonny Mellor, making his marathon debut, went through halfway in 66:46 and at 18 miles was on target for 2:14:15 but was eventually 24th in 2:16:52.
Paul Martelletti, a more experienced campaigner, dropped out after 30km, having gone through half in 67:19.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, another debutant Jess Coulson was well on course to break the Rio standard of 2:31. She passed halfway in 74:24 and was still looking good at 30km but did not pass the 35km timing mat.
The leading British female was Hayley Munn, who was within a minute of her PB with 2:38:22. Stuart Robinson was another lead Brit with 2:21:35.
Gulume Tollesa led an Ethiopian one-two-three in the women’s race as she beat Dinkinesh Mekash in a sprint finish as both were given 2:23:12.
Arne Gabius set a German record of 2:08:33 in finishing fourth in the men’s race.