Commonwealth Games officials have been hammered for not helping a distressed marathon runner who suffered a breakdown due to exhaustion.
Callum Hawkins was leading the race just over two hours into the event when his body shut down, leaving the runner in a poor state of health on the side of a bridge just 2km short of the finish line.
Hawkins was two minutes in front when his body buckled resulting in the athlete collapsing into a railing.
The disturbing scenes show Hawkins trying endlessly to get back up and finish the race but he simply couldn’t.
As he lay on the ground, spectators hovered over him and were seen talking to the fallen athlete.
All the people taking photos/videos of Callum Hawkins while he lay on the ground obviously suffering waiting for medics, shame on you. #GC2018
— Amy Price (@amyprice21) April 15, 2018
@GC2018 @Team_Scotland Help had NOT arrived but on the TV we saw one of the female stewards, in a blue bib, leaning over to take a photographs of poor Callum Hawkins whilst he was collapsed on the ground. You neglected this poor soul – hang your heads in shame GC2018. pic.twitter.com/voufup59d7
— barty roberts (@bartyroberts) April 15, 2018
Lots of angry Brits raging about #CG2018marathon organisers – I thought they did well taking into account that a marathoner is disqualified once they receive medical assistance. They gave Callum Hawkins a chance to continue as he would have wanted I suspect. #CG2018
— Honest Opinions (@cricket_fan_cz) April 15, 2018
Shocked by the treatment of Scotland's Callum Hawkins at the Commonwealth Games.
He was obviously disorientated & hit his head as he collapsed, so where the fuck were the paramedics? Where were the officials? Why was it left to spectators to try & help him?
— Mousey (@MouseyHousewife) April 15, 2018
Callum Hawkins collapses #CommonwealthGames2018 and the distressed crowd told not to assist him. There was no way he was going to get up so help should have been allowed. Very sad. #callumhawkins #marathon #distressing
— Matt Cowley (@TheMattCowley) April 15, 2018
He was clearly in distress and struggling yet the medics casually (slowly) made their way to Callum. Disgraceful. And why are people taking photos of his suffering? #callumhawkins
— Denise Pennington (@Penningt1Denise) April 15, 2018
Reports say an official told the spectators not to interfere with the runner and leave him struggling on the ground because the belief was medical help was on the way.
Unfortunately help never arrived and Hawkins was left on the ground for several minutes without assistance.
What made things worse was the official was heard saying the Scottish athlete would be disqualified if anyone came to his aid other than medical professionals.
The medicos eventually made it to the scene but viewers and commentators had seen enough.
CALLUM HAWKINS UPDATE: We are very pleased to report that Callum is sitting up and speaking with his Dad and Team Scotland medical staff. He is undergoing further tests as a precaution and we all wish him a speedy recovery.
— Team Scotland (@Team_Scotland) April 15, 2018
British Athletics made a statement after the race and said Hawkins had spoken to officials while receiving treatment. He was conscious when taken to hospital.
Former Australian runner and Channel 7 commentator Tamsyn Lewis said the rules of the race should’ve been ignored to make sure Hawkins was safe.
“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.”
Bruce McAvany was critical of officials for not stopping Hawkins from continuing on after he fell 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.”