Hawkins hospitalised after collapsing in final stages of marathon

Marathon leader hospitalised after heartbreaking collapse

Michael Shelley won the Commonwealth Games men's marathon in dramatic fashion after leader Callum Hawkins of Scotland collapsed to the road with about two kilometers to go.

Hawkins, who had about a two-minute lead over Shelley, first became disoriented in the humid conditions at about the 38-kilometer mark of the 42.2-kilometer race, briefly holding himself up next to a race barrier to try to regain his balance.

Television commentators were critical and there was backlash on social media because of the delay getting medical assistance to Hawkins, particularly after a security official tried to move away spectators who were attempting to help the stricken runner.

BBC Sport commentator Steve Cram said it was "disgraceful" that it took so long for paramedics to attend to Hawkins.

He said: "I like many others was distressed to see a wonderful athlete like Callum collapse during the closing stages of today's Marathon", he said. "He's going to hurt himself and there's nobody anywhere near", he said. This is a guy in real distress and someone needs to recognise it for his health at this point.

"Where on earth is the help?" he said.

Hawkins' team-mate Robbie Simpson had been working his way through the field and he punched the air as he crossed the finish line, his time of 2:19:36 securing the bronze ahead of Northern Ireland's Kevin Seaward with a time of 2:19:54.

GOLDOC confirmed medical staff were posted at 500-metre intervals in the final kilometres of the course with radio communications.

Mark Peters, chief executive of Games' organisers GOLDOC, promised to investigate the lack of immediate on-course medical care for Hawkins.

Team Scotland's statement continued: "Whilst Callum's recovery is our clear priority, we are still reviewing the circumstances of today's race with GOLDOC and the CGF to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of all athletes remains paramount".

"I was also concerned about the behaviour of a small number of bystanders who chose to take images", he said.

This is not in keeping with the spirit of GC2018. Michael Shelley ran past to win the race and defend the title he won at Glasgow four years ago.

"Obviously we need to check the facts. It got me going - when I was half way round and they said Callum was in the lead, I was thinking "I want to get to the end" so I could be part of the Scottish team and do the whole team proud".

In a later tweet, Team Scotland wrote that Hawkins was sitting up and talking, but was undergoing further tests as a precaution.

Reports were that Hawkins had initially refused medical treatment after falling a first time, for fear of disqualification.

As you know the global rules are very clear in that an athlete has to declare themselves unfit to race (before they can receive any medical attention).

Shelley said: "I saw him on the Sundale Bridge and just tried to hang on".

Hawkins was leading by two minutes with less than two miles to the finish line when he collapsed.

Going into the final quarter of the race Hawkins, who finished fourth in the World Championships past year, was looking set to claim his first major medal.

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