Callum Hawkins’ ‘really bad year’ ended in further disappointment as an ankle injury meant he couldn’t complete the men’s marathon at his second Olympic Games. 

The marathon, along with the walking races, was moved to Sapporo, over 500 miles north of Tokyo, where temperatures are allegedly cooler in the summer. 

However, there was no evidence of that on Sunday morning with searing heat and almost unbearable humidity making a race that is tough at the best of times even more so and 30 of the 106 competitors failed to complete the 26.2 miles. 

Elderslie’s Hawkins was one of those, although it wasn’t the heat that put paid to his chances of matching his impressive ninth-place finish in the Olympic marathon at Rio 2016 but instead a lingering injury.

“I found the conditions okay,” explained Hawkins. “I didn’t struggle too much with the conditions, it was warm and you could feel it but it was my ankle that I’ve been dealing with for the past year that went.  

“I kept getting slower, couldn’t put any power through my ankle.  

“I probably went through a bit of a bad patch at 18, 19km, and then from there my ankle just got worse and worse.  

“I would’ve just ended up hurting it more and being back where I was last year, and I can’t do another year like that.” 

Thanks to National Lottery funding our Olympians and Paralympians have been able to train full time and benefit from world class facilities, technology, coaching and support teams.

This has never been more important in getting them to the start line after a turbulent year.

Hawkins’ decision to pull out of the race before the finish was a tough one but ultimately made with his long-term future in mind. 

And the Scot is keen to forget about his past 12 months from hell as he now heads into a new Olympic cycle with Paris 2024 just three years away. 

“It’s just been a really bad year for me, to be honest,” added the 29-year-old. “My ankle, and then when I get that fixed in the last six weeks, I’ve only managed to finish like two sessions.  

“I don’t know what happened, whether it was illness or a bad reaction to something, but it’s been a tough year.” 

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