Athletics official rebukes organisers over marathon collapse


A senior athletics official says organisers were wrong not to provide help to Callum Hawkins straight away after he collapsed while leading the Commonwealth Games marathon.

Struggling in the heat, Hawkins collapsed in the gutter while leading Sunday's men's marathon with 2.5km to go.

He got to his feet and laboured on for a few hundred metres before falling again, this time nearly hitting his head on the metal guardrail.

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There was an initial delay in Hawkins receiving treatment - something the organising committee defended - before he was taken to hospital.

Australian Michael Shelley went on to win the gold medal.

Hawkins was leading before he collapsed. Image: Getty

Games officials said they couldn't assist Hawkins until he made it clear he had pulled out of the race.

But Brian Roe, a member of the International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF), says that's incorrect.

The IAAF changed its rules after Frenchman Yohann Diniz was disqualified for receiving water from an official during the 50km walk at the London Olympics.

Roe said oversight of the Commonwealth Games marathons and race walks was contracted out to Gold Coast marathon organisers, rather than officials appointed by Athletics Australia.

Organisers hesitated to help Hawkins. Image: Getty

"If it was an IAAF event, the medical delegate and all of the officials would have had an oversight role," Roe told AAP.

"The IAAF medical delegate would have stepped in to assess whether the athlete was OK.

"Under the current rules, they can even provide assistance if they think by doing that it will enable the athlete to continue.

"For example, they can provide the athlete with electrolytes or water.

Hawkins was discharged from hospital on Monday. Image: Getty

"Or under IAAF rule 113, they would have the power to withdraw the runner from the race."

Roe said team officials would also be expected to know the rules.

"We need to learn from this," he said.

"I don't think there are any more rule changes we need to make to allow that to have been better managed in the interests of the athlete and the sport.

"But if there are we will certainly look at doing that."

Hawkins, 25, was released from hospital on Monday morning.

"I'd like to say a huge thanks to all the medical staff at Gold Coast University Hospital for their care over the last 24 hours - and it's great to now be back with my teammates," he said.