Games organisers criticised after slow response to athlete's collapse

Scot Callum Hawkins has been taken to hospital after collapsing while leading the marathon at the Commonwealth Games.

The 25-year-old from Elderslie,Scotland, was a mile from the end of the race in Australia's Gold Coast when he fell to the ground.

He struggled without medical attention for a number of minutes in the heat, before being taken away in an ambulance.

Hawkins, who had a lead of 41 seconds at the time of his fall, was passed by Australian Michael Shelley who went on to win the race.

Athletics - Commonwealth Games Day 11
Athletics - Commonwealth Games Day 11

Team Scotland said in a statement: "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 & there are no major concerns at this stage. More information to be issued in due course."

During the event, commentator 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."

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

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

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

Mark Peters, chief executive of Games' organisers GOLDOC, promised to investigate the lack of immediate medical care.

"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."