(Reuters) – Scottish runner Callum Hawkins said he could not remember attempting to carry on after collapsing during the men’s marathon at this month’s Commonwealth Games.
Hawkins held an almost two-minute lead in the marathon after two hours of running in the blazing temperatures on the Gold Coast before collapsing on the road. He then got back up to run a short distance and collapsed again.
The 25-year-old was released from hospital the day after his collapse.
“I remember thinking ‘If I can just get up and finish, I’ll probably get a medal but if three people go past then I’ll throw the towel in’,” Hawkins told BBC Scotland. “But I don’t remember getting up and actually running those extra meters.
“I remember falling off the side of the road and trying my best to get back up but my legs were like jelly. Next thing I remember is being in an ambulance.”
Hawkins said he regained consciousness in the ambulance and asked the staff if he had won the race.
“I knew the answer before I asked, but I remember asking ‘Did I win?'” he added. “I thought there might have been a chance I went on auto-pilot and finished it but nobody answered and I knew straightaway, ‘that’s a no’.”
Hawkins’ collapse drew widespread criticism from former athletes and fans on social media, who expressed their dissatisfaction with the delay in medical attention provided to the runner.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)