CALLUM HAWKINS is hopeful that his brother, Derek, can join him in the GB marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics next summer, repeating the feat of 2016 which saw them both compete for Britain in the marathon in Rio.

It was announced last week that Callum has already been pre-selected for the 2020 Olympics, becoming one of the first GB athletes to secure their seat on the plane to Japan. And he firmly believes his brother is capable of claiming one of the remaining two marathon spots, with things being made slightly easier following the announcement earlier this year from four-time Olympic track medallist Mo Farah that he will concentrate on the 10,000m. This is after his decision in 2017 to retire from the track and concentrate on the road.

The Kilbarchan AAC duo put in impressive showings at Rio 2016, with Callum having a superb run to finish in ninth place, while Derek overcame a build-up severely afflicted by injury to finish just 114th.

The London Marathon in April is the ‘trial race’ for the Olympics, with the British Athletics men’s standard for Japan 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds. This means Derek must set a new personal best if he is to make it to his second Olympics, with his best to date being 2 hours 12 minutes 49 seconds, which he clocked in Frankfurt in October.

“There are slots available now at London and hopefully Derek can make it,” said Callum, who believes his older brother is capable of dipping under the British qualifying time.

“He ran a PB in Frankfurt and I think he had a bit more to come that day.

"So we will see how that goes with him and a couple of other Brits come London. I’d love him to be there. We were both selected for Rio in 2016 but at that time he had a real struggle with injury in the last few months and it was all about just making the start-line.

"It would be a nice achievement for two brothers to make it twice to the Olympics in the marathon."

Callum, fourth in the last two World champs events in London and in Doha, feels the competition in Sapporo will be even harder come next August.

"I’m not in any doubt that the level of competition in Japan will be even tougher than Doha," the 27-year-old said.

"That’s just the way I feel because I’m sure the very fact it is the Olympics will motivate people even more and there will be greater depth to the top 10 or the top 20 or whatever. Making the top 10 again will be really tough and the conditions could be difficult, too, even though they’ve moved it.

"I won’t have any fear, though. I will go out there feeling no pressure and, assuming everything has gone well in the build-up, I will really go for it. With a marathon, it comes down to how you cope and how you feel on the day."

If his current plan for next year remains unchanged, he could be making a trip east even before the main event, with a half marathon in Japan on the radar for family Hawkins.

"I’ve been out to Japan before," Callum recalled.

"I was due to run the Fukuoka Marathon at the end of 2018 but a hamstring injury prevented that, but we went on the trip anyway and got an idea of the place.

"We’re firming up the race-plan at the moment but one of the half marathons could be over in Japan, although not at the Olympic venue."