25-year-old Scottish marathoner Callum Hawkins was on track to win the marathon on the final day of the Commonwealth Games when he collapsed on the course. 

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Conditions were extremely hot on the stretch of highway along Australia’s Gold Coast on Sunday, with temperatures near 30 C. Hawkins struggled to his feet and tried to continue, but collapsed again shortly afterwards.

Games officials have been criticized for the slow response time of medical staff in attending to the obviously distressed athlete, though understandably they were reluctant to risk disqualifying the lead runner if there was any chance of his continuing the race. Hawkins was eventually taken off the course and into an ambulance, suffering from heat exhaustion. He was hospitalized overnight but later released.

Australian runner Michael Shelley was able to move into the lead as a result of Hawkins’ dropping out, and won his second Commonwealth Games marathon gold medal. (Shelley was the winner in Glasgow in 2014.) His time was 2:16:46. Uganda’s Munyo Solomon Mutai won silver and Scotland’s Robbie Simpson took home the bronze.

Hawkins competed in the 10,000m at the Glasgow games, finishing 20th. He was eighth at the 2016 London marathon.

Hawkins placed ninth in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 

Several other elite runners also dropped out of the race yesterday.

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