Callum Hawkins was all on his own.
Callum Hawkins was all on his own.

‘Somebody help’: Games disgrace

COMMENTATORS echoed the thoughts of millions around the world when they screamed out for somebody to help distressed Scotland marathon runner Callum Hawkins.

Their cries fell on deaf ears as Hawkins was left crumpled on the side of a bridge on the Gold Coast less than 2km short of the finish line in the men's marathon on Sunday.

The gold medal was his. He had been more than two minutes in front of Aussie Michael Shelley in second spot.

Hawkins had just minutes earlier lost control of his legs as he ran along the road before eventually collapsing onto a grassy patch.

He did not move for more than a minute.

He eventually got back to his feet in an incredibly gutsy effort, but was soon wobbling all over the course again.

 

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.

As he lied crumpled on the ground a group of spectators were spotted talking to him.

According to a report an official informed the spectators not to try and assist the distressed runner - believing medical support was on its way.

The issue was further conflicted by the rules of the race which would have seen Hawkins disqualified if he received any assistance.

Help didn't arrive.

The 25-year-old was left lying on the ground unattended to for several minutes.

Even as Shelley ran past him with concern all over his face - there was still no medical attention forthcoming.

Still the spectators were told to watch on.

Eventually medical officials made it to Hawkins' position on the bridge.

It was too little too late for many commentators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawkins was not the only victim of the searing 30C morning heat on the Gold Coast with Uganda's Munyo Solomon Mutai also suffering in the final 5km.

Mutai had been in the bronze medal position before he suddenly pulled up.

Channel 7's Bruce McAvaney had said he looked "disorientated" just a few seconds before the runner stopped and bent over with his hands on his knees.

Mutai was allowed to run on despite his condition and continued on to win silver more than two minutes behind Shelley.

Channel 7 commentator and Aussie athletics great Tamsyn Lewis said the rules of the sport should have been thrown out after witnessing Hawkins unable to move.

She said the spectators should have helped him.

"People should help him," she said.

"I think now is the time. An athlete works all their life to win gold medals. But there is one thing more important than that, his health. He should be assisted now.

"He will have family at home who can see this. So they need to know the medical staff will help him."

McAvaney said officials should have tried to stop Hawkins from trying to run on after he collapsed the first time.

"He is on autopilot. He was done three minutes ago," McAvaney said.

"He has gotten back into, not a rhythm, he is still wobbling everywhere, the mind is working so hard but the legs are just getting along. You would think he is clearheaded enough that if you can just keep going a bit longer he will get a gold medal.

"He needs to think of himself and his health first.

"This is distressing. Incredibly distressing. He needs some help. Somebody please come and help him."

British Athletics announced after the race Hawkins had spoken to officials while receiving treatment and has been taken to hospital in an ambulance and was conscious at the time.

Team Scotland also tweeted Hawkins was receiving medical treatment.

 

Earlier, when Hawkins first collapsed, McAvaney labelled his condition "completely and utterly distressed".

"Can you believe this? Callum Hawkins who has demolished this field is completely and utterly distressed," McAvaney said.

"What we're seeing is hard to watch. Very difficult to watch."

Lewis said: "Oh no! He is in trouble. He needs help."

Shelley told Channel 7 after the race he had to try and block out the moment he ran past Hawkins to try and focus on his own condition.

"I was not sure what was going on," he said.

"A couple of mates told me that Callum Hawkins was in trouble. They might have just been trying to encourage me but then I saw him on the bridge and I was aware he was in trouble but I just tried to hang on. On the home straight, as you can see, I tried to accelerate but I was gone as well. I'm glad to finish, to be honest.

"I was getting cramps earlier than I expected. I tried to run my race. I got the sponges every 2km, 2.5km, made sure I got as much drink as I could and just try to push on."


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