ELDERSLIE’S Callum Hawkins was pipped to gold in the half marathon race at the Great Scottish Run by Englishman Chris Thompson on Sunday.

The Kilbarchan AAC athlete was the reigning champions and favourite for gold in Glasgow, but Thompson claimed victory in a time of 62.44, 34 second ahead of Hawkins.

The 25-year-old was left locked in a sprint finish with fellow Rio Olympian Tsegai Tewelde which Hawkins only won in the final strides.

Hawkins claimed the Scottish title, but admitted he has struggled to find the form which saw him finish fourth in his first World Championships in August.

He said: “I had a bad patch around three or four miles and Chris pushed it on.

“I think it closed a bit a couple of times but not enough and eventually, with a mile or two to go, I had to concentrate on trying to get second of Tsegai. We’d quite a battle with that and I had hoped to have had it sorted before the last few metres.

“I was hoping that I’d be in a bit better shape than I was. I felt things were coming together this week but evidently they were not.

“Hopefully this kick starts the legs a bit more and gives me a lot more motivation.”

Thompson admitted he was delighted to stay out of Hawkins’ reach as the Elderslie man normally keeps his rivals at arms’ length at domestic level.

Thompson went ahead early in the race and then kept pushing to stretch his advantage with Hawkins and Tewelde in pursuit.

The 36-year-old said: “This is a hard way to beat Callum because he’s usually doing this to other athletes.

“At my age I have good days and bad days. This was a good day especially when you’re ahead of someone who was fourth at the World Championships.

“It was as much a mental battle as a physical one because he is such a good athlete.”