Leader collapses, Shelley wins Commonwealth Games marathon


The Associated Press

GOLD COAST, Australia — Michael Shelley defended his Commonwealth Games marathon title in dramatic fashion Sunday after leader Callum Hawkins of Scotland collapsed with about two kilometers remaining.

Hawkins, who had about a two-minute lead over Shelley, first became disoriented in the humid conditions at about the 38-kilometer mark of the 42.2-kilometer race, briefly holding himself up next to a race barrier to try to regain his balance.

He was able to continue, despite having difficulty running in a straight line, but fell to the road two kilometers later and received medical attention as Shelley raced past him on the course.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on. I had a couple of mates around Main Beach who said Callum was in a bit of trouble. They told me to keep going and gave me encouragement,” Shelley said. “I just tried to hang on.”

Hawkins did not finish the race. Scotland team officials said Hawkins was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance for testing, “and there are no major concerns for his welfare at this stage.”

“We are very pleased to report that Callum is sitting up and speaking with his dad and team medical staff.”

Shelley finished in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 46 seconds. Munyo Solomon Mutai of Uganda took silver with a time of 2:19.02, with Robbie Simpson of Scotland won bronze, 34 seconds behind Mutai.

In the women’s marathon, Helalia Johannes of Namibia won gold in 2:32.40 with Australians Lisa Weightman and Jess Trengrove taking silver and bronze. Johannes became the first woman from Namibia to win a Commonwealth gold medal.

Elsewhere around the games today:

∫ MEN’S BASKETBALL: A day after Canada qualified for the men’s basketball gold medal final with a last-second three-pointer, Australia made sure there were was no chance for any late heroics with an 87-47 win.

Thomas Abercrombie scored 26 points to lead New Zealand, which lost to Canada in the semifinals, to a 79-69 win over Scotland to take the bronze medal.

∫ NETBALL SHOCK: Jamaica beat New Zealand 60-55 in the netball bronze medal match, meaning the Silver Ferns missed a Commonwealth Games medal for the first time. New Zealand lost group matches to Malawi and England and then lost to defending champion Australia in the semifinals. Australia and England will play for gold — the first Commonwealth Games netball final not to feature Australia vs. New Zealand.

∫ BADMINTON GOLD: Three-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia overcame a first-game loss to win the men’s badminton gold, beating India’s Srikanth Kidambi 19-21, 21-14, 21-14.

It was an all-Indian final in women’s singles, with Saina Nehwal beating Venkata Pusarla 21-18, 23-21 for gold.

Nehwal, who also won gold as part of India’s mixed team earlier in the tournament, last won the Commonwealth singles title in Delhi in 2010.

∫ MEDALS TALLY: Australia went into the final day of competition with an overwhelming lead in the medal race, both gold and overall. The host country had 75 gold medals, 33 more than second-place England. India (25) and Canada (15) followed in the gold medals race. It will still fall short of the 84 gold medals Australia won in Melbourne in 2006.

∫ TRACK WRAP: Australia led at the athletics competition with 12 gold. The biggest surprise in track and field was that Jamaica, featuring the world’s fastest active sprinter and the women’s Olympic 100- and 200-meter champion didn’t win a gold medal in the sprints. After Yohan Blake anchored Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay team to bronze on Saturday, Usain Bolt took to social media to openly question if he’d retired too early.

The Jamaicans won 10 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow four years ago but managed just seven on the Gold Coast.

∫ SWIM WRAP: There were no surprises at the Commonwealth Games pool, where Australia again dominated, including on the opening night when its women’s 4×100-meter relay team broke a world record.

Australia finished with 73 swimming medals — 28 gold, 21 silver and 24 bronze — with Mitch Larkin winning five gold medals.

∫ NEEDLES, PROTESTS: Off the competition fields, there were controversies over the games’ non-needles policy involving two Indian athletes.

Triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi were banned from the games and ordered to return home to India immediately. Needles were found in the room they shared at the athletes village.

∫ TICKETS: Organizers said about 1.2 million tickets were sold, 96 percent of those available.

∫ NEXT TIME: The 2022 games are in Birmingham, England, a replacement for Durban, South Africa, which lost the hosting rights last year after failing to deliver on key promises in its bid.

By Paul Wager

Leave a Reply