Britain has pre-selected Callum Hawkins for the Olympic marathon after he finished fourth at this year's IAAF World Championships in Doha ©Getty Images

Britain has pre-selected Callum Hawkins for the marathon at next year's Olympic Games in Japan. 

The 27-year-old ran a Scottish record of 2 hours 08min 14sec at the London Marathon earlier this year before finishing fourth at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Doha, the same position he had finished in the previous edition of the event in 2017 in London. 

It represented a remarkable comeback for Hawkins, who last year during the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast had collapsed near the finish while leading, from heat exhaustion in 30 degree heat.

The Olympic marathon in due to take place in Sapporo on August 9, the last day of the Games, after controversially being moved 800 kilometres away from Tokyo because of fears over the heat in the Japanese capital. 

Hawkins had finished ninth in the Olympic marathon at Rio 2016 and could be a contender for a medal in Sapporo. 

"British Athletics have taken the opportunity to pre-select him seven months in advance of Tokyo 2020 in order to give him the best possible preparation to compete for a medal," British Athletics said when announcing Hawkins' pre-selection.

Callum Hawkins finished ninth in the Olympic marathon at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Callum Hawkins finished ninth in the Olympic marathon at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

British Athletics will officially select Hawkins for nomination to the British Olympic Association following the final marathon selection meeting on April 28, provided he has demonstrated form and fitness prior to the meeting taking place.

Despite some fine marathon performances from runners Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell and Jess Piasecki this year, no British women have been pre-selected.

They will have to impress the selectors at the London Marathon on April 26 next year, a race which acts as British Athletics' official marathon trial for the Olympic Games.

The top two finishers there are guaranteed selection as long as they have also achieved the qualifying standard of 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women.

Mo Farah, the four-time Olympic gold medallist in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, had originally targeted the marathon at Tokyo 2020 but changed his mind last month. 

He now plans to chase a record third consecutive Olympic 10,000m title.