Games organisers criticised after slow response to athlete's collapse

Portia Woodan breaks away

Portia Woodan breaks away Source

The Scotsman got back on his feet and continued racing before collapsing again, this time hitting his head on a roadside barrier. Australia's Michael Shelley overtook Hawkins while he was on the ground to claim back-to-back Commonwealth titles.

"We are very pleased to report that Callum is sitting up and speaking with his dad and team medical staff".

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

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. Instead, some took photographs on their mobile phones.

BBC Sport commentator Steve Cram said it was "disgraceful" that it took so long for paramedics to attend to Hawkins. I had a couple of mates (in the crowd) who said Callum was in a bit of trouble.

As he lay writhing on the road, a global television audience watched in mounting horror, as he was left in clear distress with no one coming to his help.

"We should have some more medical attention".

"Where on earth is the help?"

"I thought hopefully I can get to the finish line because I was starting to get cramps in my hands". They 't made radios...

"This is not in keeping with the spirit of Gold Coast 2018". Obviously, the health of the athlete is absolutely prime.

"I, like many others, was distressed to see a wonderful athlete like Callum collapse during the closing stages of today's marathon", Mr Peters said in a statement issued by GOLDOC today.

He also said he did not think the heat - the temperature was about 28C - was a problem.

"Ultimately these incredible athletes do run themselves to exhaustion and these rarely a marathon where someone isn't collapsing", he said.

The Gold Coast organising committee, GOLDOC, have defended the location and number of medical staff available, and point to the fact that an athlete has to request medical attention as any intervention on their part results in disqualification.

Many were also outraged at onlookers who took pictures of Hawkins while he was in medical distress.

"I saw him and just tried to hang on".

"I'm glad to be finished to be honest", added Shelley.

Hawkins was listed as a "Did Not Finish" by race organizers. "You've got to be fierce and that was as fierce as I've ever been".

At this morning's daily media briefing, a veteran British athletics journalist questioned Peters why it took "so long" to get a medic, saying: "It looked like a matter of life and death. there's a lot of angry people on the internet right now'". And that's what Callum was doing.

He said he could "understand" why Hawkins did not want medical treatment.

"You don't know what damage you can do by collapsing in this heat".

"I came here for a gold, I settled for silver, but I've promised the world I will be the best in the world", said Smith.

When asked about running past his team-mate, Simpson said: "It was pretty awful". Hawkins, who was fourth at the World Championships previous year, was reported one hour after the race to be conscious. "I am now feeling much better".

But Australia suffered setbacks on the last day when their women's rugby team, the Olympic champions, lost a sudden-death thriller against New Zealand in the inaugural final.

Hawkins had showed gradual signs of deterioration in the five to 10 minutes before he collapsed for good.

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