Athlete 'sitting up and talking' after marathon collapse, but questions remain over medical response

Athlete 'sitting up and talking' after marathon collapse, but questions remain over medical response
Callum Hawkins of Scotland collapses as he competes in the Men's marathon on day 11 of the Commonwealth Games. Pic: Getty

Scottish athlete Callum Hawkins has been taken to hospital after dramatically collapsing while leading the Commonwealth Games' marathon.

The 25-year-old was just over a mile from the end of the race in Australia's Gold Coast when he began weaving across the road and fell to the ground.

He struggled for a number of minutes without medical attention in distressing scenes in the 27C (80F) heat, before eventually being taken away in an ambulance.

Hawkins, who had a lead of 41 seconds at the time of his fall, was passed by Australia's Michael Shelley who won the race.

In a statement posted to Twitter after the race, Team Scotland said: "Callum has been taken to hospital for medical review following his collapse in the Marathon as is standard procedure.”

“He is being supported by Team Scotland medical staff and there are no major concerns at this stage.

“More information to be issued in due course."

Later the team announced that Hawkins was “sitting up and speaking with his Dad and Team Scotland medical staff.”

During the event, BBC commentator and former athlete Steve Cram said it was ‘a disgrace’ it took so long for any paramedics to attend to Hawkins.

"This is a guy in real distress and someone needs to recognise it for his health at this point," he said.

"Where on Earth is the help? You cannot just wait at the finish line. They've got radios. And finally somebody arrives.

“I think it's disgraceful."

Former marathon runner Paula Radcliffe said there were "big questions to answer" over the medical response, adding: "That should never happen.

"The marathon is brutal and a heartbreaker but there is a lot more to come from this brave champion."

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

"Obviously we need to check the facts. We can't have medical people on every corner of the road," he said.

"Certainly there's no reason for a deliberate delay."

In a statement released later, he said: “medical staff were posted at 500mtr intervals in the final kilometres of the course, all of which had radio communications.”

“In competition, there are strict rules around accepting medical help and subsequent disqualification,” he said.

“After Callum Hawkins collapsed on the bridge, medical staff provided treatment when requested.”

Hawkins, who finished fourth in the World Championships last year, was looking set to claim his first major medal.

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

He had a lead of 41 seconds before his fall, which denied him the chance of victory on the Gold Coast.

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.

He passed the halfway point in one hour 07:44 minutes and was living up to his pre-race favourite tag before the drama.

Australia's Michael Shelley overtook Hawkins while he was on the ground to claim back-to-back Commonwealth titles.

Hawkins' Scotland team-mate Robbie Simpson took bronze behind Mutai.

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