Callum Hawkins said he was relishing the chance to battle Sir Mo Farah in the marathon from next year after finishing an impressive fourth at the World Championships in London.

The Elderslie runner admitted to mixed emotions, despite equalling the best-ever finish by a British man in the event, and the best in 22 years since Peter Whitehead’s performance in Gothenburg.

The 25-year-old, ninth at last year’s Olympics in Rio, clocked a personal best two hours 10 minutes 17 seconds as he crossed the finish line at Tower Bridge, 26 seconds off bronze.

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui took victory on the course, which consisted of four 10km loops on closed roads, in 2hrs 8mins 27secs. Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola claimed silver and Alphonce Felix Simbu of Tanzania bronze.

The Kilbarchan AAC athlete said: “I was wanting to sneak a medal and to actually see it as I was finishing was a bit tough.

“But I gave it my all and I couldn’t ask for anything more performance wise. I knew I could be close to a medal, but there are some quality athletes.”

Hawkins finished strongly, picking athletes off late in the race after deciding not to go with the leaders when they made a move at the halfway point.

“I should have maybe held them a bit closer when that big move went, but it was a huge move,” added Hawkins, who dropped out of his last race in June, after battling illness.

“But if I had I would’ve been almost walking at the end.”

Hawkins’ frustration at missing out on a medal is a sign of his confidence - and he is determined to give Farah a run for his money when the 10-time global track champion takes to the roads full-time.

He joked: “Hopefully he’ll be seeing my back. He’s a quality athlete and hopefully it’ll be a good head-to-head.”