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HAWK HIGH; Callum on cloud nine after Scots record and Glasgow win.

Byline: MARK WOODS

CALLUM HAWKINS admitted he feared the stopwatch had conked out after smashing the national record during his storming Great Scottish Run victory.

The Olympic hero, 24, became the first Scotsman to win the race in its 34-year history by kicking clear of 2015 champion Moses Kipsiro with two miles left before crossing the line in one hour and 24 seconds in Glasgow.

It was over two minutes quicker than he'd done before.

It means only Mo Farah sits above the Kilbarchan ace in the UK's all-time half-marathon rankings with Allister Hutton's Scots mark from 1987 blown out of the water.

And Hawkins, who was exactly 30 seconds clear of his Kenyan rival, reckons it was the perfect end to a summer that saw him stun the athletics world by coming ninth in the marathon at Rio 2016.

He said: "When I looked up at the clock, I probably slowed down because I was in shock.

"I just saw 60-something, I started looking around because I thought it was the wrong clock. But the crowd were unbelievable. It was just fantastic.

"That definitely rounds off the year really well.

"I should have had a quicker personal best. That's just the way I do things.

"This time last year I was just trying to get into an Olympic team. So to get in, and do what I did, and then run 60-something for the half-marathon, I can't believe it.

"It just shows that Tokyo is hopefully going to be a great time for me."

Hawkins - set to be named today on UK Athletics Lotteryfunded world-class list - will now beg selectors to give him an automatic spot in next August's world championships in London so he can throw everything into bagging a medal.

He said: "Hopefully that pushes them into pre-selecting me. I need to move on.

"But the main focus for me is Tokyo 2020 and before that the Gold Coast. The worlds would just be a stepping-stone."

Betsy Saina led a Kenyan sweep of the podium in the women's race, taking victory in 67:22 ahead of Helah Kiprop and Doris Changeiywo with Scot Beth Potter fifth.

Potter, who is targeting December's European cross-country championships, claimed it was the perfect tonic after her Olympic let-down when a stomach bug wrecked her hopes in the 10,000m. Potter said: "I found it really difficult when I was out in Rio, just coping with being there.

"It was amplified because it was the Olympics. If it was just a BMC event, I'd have put it down to being a bad race. But I feel much more motivated now."

Welsh wonder Jonathan Hopkins scooped the men's Great Scottish 10k with Scotland's Jo Moultrie coasting to victory in the women's race in 34:19.

The Glaswegian, 25, will train her sights on making March's European indoors in Belgrade after her final appearance at the worlds in Portland last winter.

But she has vowed to find the extra gear needed to make sure she's in the frame for Gold Coast 2018 despite the depth of talent running the 5000m.

Moultrie said: "Next year with Commonwealth qualifying, I don't want to be in the position of missing out.

"I've been doing things even outside of running to improve. I want to get used to being uncomfortable and throw in a few longer races."

CAPTION(S):

TOP TRIO Hawkins, centre, with third-placed Kimutai, left, and the runner-up Kipsiro
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 3, 2016
Words:573
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