Callum Hawkins impressed to secure a top ten finish in the Rio 2016 marathon on only his third attempt at the distance.
The 24-year old from Kilbarchan only made his marathon debut last year, finishing 12th at the Frankfurt Marathon before coming home as the top Brit in eighth at April’s London Marathon.
And Hawkins continued to underline his huge potential in the event on the biggest stage of them all in Rio, taking the race by the scruff of the neck to lead at the half way stage.
While the Brit dropped back when the eventual medallists kicked for home, he recovered to haul himself from 14th into the top ten in the final few kilometres.
Hawkins ultimately crossed ninth in 2:11:52 with Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge taking gold in 2:08:44 ahead of Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa (2:09:54) and USA’s Galen Rupp (2:10:05).
“I didn’t expect to be in front at half way,” said Hawkins. “I though I would be having to catching everyone so I’m pretty pleased.
“I was just running my own pace and I kept catching the leaders and getting stuck in the middle and having to jostle for position so I thought I would be better at the front running my own pace.
“Until the leaders properly went, I felt really comfortable hence why I was at the front. I went with 7km to go which was maybe a bit too early but I managed to catch a few people in the last 2km.
“Top ten was the big goal so to get that at my first Olympics is really good.
“Hopefully I can go a lot further but the marathon is such an unpredictable sport and you don’t know when is going to be your last one.
“I’ll take a break from marathons now because that’s three in ten months which is quite a lot for a 24-year old.”
Hawkins’ older brother Derek was also in action in the marathon, as well as Glasgow-based Tsegai Tewelde.
Derek Hawkins crossed in 114th in 2:29.24 while Tewelde pulled up after 15km, having struggled to overcome a foot injury in the run-up to the Games.