January 21, 2019

Marathon collapse sours Commonwealth Games final day

15 April 2018, 10:38 | Anna Jefferson

Marathon leader hospitalised after heartbreaking collapse

Hawkins Cameron Spencer  Getty Images

However, Australia thrashed Canada 87-47 in the men's basketball final, Shelley won the marathon and David Palmer and Zac Alexander were crowned men's doubles squash champions on the final day.

The 25-year-old, who finished fourth at the World Championships marathon in London last summer, had looked set for gold but he began to sway in distress and fell over on the curb. The Scotsman got back on his feet and continued racing before collapsing again, this time hitting his head on a roadside barrier.

In temperatures nudging 30 degrees Celsius on Australia's Gold Coast, Hawkins was ahead by more than two minutes when his legs buckled and he plunged onto a kerb.

'Australian public and tourists deciding to film Callum Hawkins on the floor instead of jumping over the barrier to try and help him, should be ashamed, ' one person posted on Twitter.

There was a similarly encouraging message from Hawkins' agency, Moyo Sports, in a tweet which read: "Callum Hawkins is sitting up and talking after having been taken to hospital".

"Callum has been taken to hospital for medical review following his collapse in the marathon as is standard procedure", a Team Scotland statement read.

It also confirmed that Callum was undergoing further tests as a precaution.

Hawkins was left unattended for several minutes, much to the dismay of commentators, reporters and viewers.

Commentating on the BBC, former middle distance runner Steve Cram said it was "a disgrace" that it took so long for any paramedics to attend to Hawkins. Hawkins, who was fourth at the World Championships previous year, was reported one hour after the race to be conscious.

Organisers said there are strict rules that can see athletes disqualified for seeking medical help.

GOLDOC chief executive officer Mark Peters said the health of all athletes was GOLDOC's number one priority. You can't have medical people on every kilometre of the road. "The response of medical staff this morning was within agreed response guidelines and timeframes", said the statement. "This is not in keeping with the spirit of Gold Coast 2018".

Updates on the condition of athletes will be provided through respective teams. Seven of the 24 starters did not complete the race, with Tanzania's Stephano Huche Gwandu put in a wheelchair after falling as he crossed the line.

He had been more than two minutes in front of Aussie Michael Shelley in second spot.

She also said spectators taking pictures of Hawkins while he lay on the road should be ashamed of themselves.

"I was starting to go myself", Shelley said. They told me to keep going and gave me encouragement.

Hawkins eventually crashed into the railing on the side of a Gold Coast bridge less than 2km out from what would have been a gold medal.

"I just tried to run a smart race and come through and in the end I managed to do it, but it was really tough".

A British runner collapsed just over a mile from the finish line on his way to a gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games.

Hawkins had moved away from the pack and opened up a gap from Uganda's Munyo Solomon Mutai, who was initially behind him in second.

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