Commomwealth Games bosses were slammed last night after Scottish marathon runner Callum Hawkins was left without medical help after collapsing in the brutal Aussie heat.
The 25-year-old from Elderslie, was in line for a stunning gold medal Down Under, leading the race by two minutes with just over a mile to go.
But in distressing scenes, he collapsed through heat exhaustion in soaring 30 degree temperatures and draining humidity – and was then left for more than four minutes before paramedics treated him.
Ghoulish spectators and even one TV channel technician leaned over the barriers snapping pictures of the helpless Renfrewshire runner instead of trying to help.
Hawkins, who was recovering last David Campbell
St Mirren’s title-winning heroes painted the town black and white as they joined scores of fans to celebrate into the early hours of yesterday morning.
Manager Jack Ross sparked joyful scenes as he told supporters who packed into Gilmour Street pub The Bankhouse: “We’re on our way”.
Jubilant players, staff and scores of fans crammed into the boozer after the club secured a return to the top flight of Scottish football.
Stars, including skipper Stephen McGinn, top scorer Gavin Reilly and fans’ favourite Stelios Demetriou D i led ldh the title il party, alongside gaffer Ross.
Addressing the crowd, the Saints manager said: “Over the last 16 months there has been a real special bond between the players and the supporters, so,thank you, you’ve been a huge part of what we’ve achieved this season.”
Buddies, who had travelled from far and wide to be there, streamed onto the Paisley 2021 pitch as the referee blew the final whistle on St Mirren’s 0- 0 draw wi t h Livingston, to give the Paisley side the point needed to claim the championship crown.
night, said from his hospital bed:“Thanks for all your messages of support today and to the Gold Coast University Hospital staff. I am now feeling much better.”
But a row erupted between Team Scotland chiefs and GOLDOC, the organising committee of the Gold Coast Games over their procedures.
Scotland’s team bosses went through angry exchanges with the organisers as they demanded answers for the lack of medical attention.
The Aussies were hiding behind claims that only an athlete can declare himself unfit to continue under the rules, but IAAF Rule 144 states: “An athlete shall retire at once if ordered to do so by the medical delegate, or a medical doctor who is a member of the official medical staff,identified by armbands, vests or similar distinctive apparel.”
Hawkins was clearly in no state to make a decision.
And Paul Bush, the Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: “We formally raised the situation with GOLDOC in terms of how it was managed on the course. We do have concerns.
“The main one is the amount of time it took.
“We’re full aware of the IAAF rules, in terms of how the athlete has to declare themselves unfit to compete.
“But he was in trouble for a long time, and fell twice. Our concern was when he fell the second time.”
Asked if he felt the time lapse was unacceptable, he said:“I would say we’d have hoped people would have got to him quicker.
“The second time he fell he was in serious trouble.”
Callum’s dad and coach Robert was with his son in hospital last night.
However Mark Peters, the CEO of GOLDOC defended their stance, reserving his condemnation for the bystanders who filmed and snapped Hawkins as he lay in distress.
He said:“I was distressed to see a wonderful athlete like Callum collapse. We are offering every assistance possible to Callum and Team Scotland.”
We are the champions Saints manager Jack Ross in full voice, rejoicing with fans and players in the pub, and right, St Mirren fans pour onto the pitch after the full-time whistle
Down Callum Hawkins