Solomon Mutai admitted yesterday that he had to control his pace “so as not to die” after he won silver in a dramatic marathon on the final day of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
The attention for Uganda will firmly be on the silver, the country’s first in 16 years at the Games, but the headlines were written by Scottish runner Callum Hawkins. With a huge lead past the 40km mark and gold looking a certainty on live television, Hawkins collapsed and fell out of the race. The stricken runner attempted to gather himself and soldier on but his body evidently was incapable despite the best interests of his mind.
It was a distressing scene for which organisers have been vilified for not having given the runner prompt medical attention. At least he is not under any danger.
Before Hawkins’ legs gave way, Mutai had moved into third after his Lesotho rival Tsepo Mathibelle pulled a hamstring.
In those dramatic moments, Mutai had managed to climb from fourth to second en route to his silver.
“The heat was a major problem and I told myself that rather than die, let me contain myself and keep my pace,” he noted.
“I used my experience from Mombasa where I had run in similar heat and won to my advantage.”
Mutai’s medal was the last of Uganda’s six in Gold Coast and it capped a satisfying two weeks in Australia for the 69-man contingent whose only sour note was the disappreance of two weight lifters Khalidi Batuusa and Irene Kasubo.
Alex Chesakit managed to endure the heat to finish seventh in a time of 2:23:36. Robert Chemonges did not finish.
Mutai told Daily Monitor that his next mission is to do well at the 2019 IAAF World Championships that will be staged in Doha, Qatar.
Mutai season best
Half Marathon - Riyadh (KSA)
TIME : 1:04:01
DATE : 24 FEB 2018
Marathon - Gold Coast (AUS)
TIME : 2:19:02
DATE : 15 APR 2018
1. Michael Shelley 2:16:46 (Australia)
2. Solomon Munyo Mutai 2:19:02 (Uganda)
3. Robbie Simpson 2:19:36 (Scotland)
7. Alex Chesakit 2:23:06 (Uganda)
*Robert Chemonges DNF (Uganda)
MARATHON CAREER PROGRESSION
2013: Mombasa Marathon 1st (2:14:21)
2014: Glasgow CW Games 4th (2:12:26)
2014: Hainan Danzhou Marathon 3rd (2:12:59)
2015: Hannover Marathon 5th (2:10:42)
2015: Beijing Worlds Champs 3rd (2:13:30)
2016: Lake Biwa Marathon 11th (2:14:57)
2016: Rio Olympics 8th (2:11:49)
2017: Lake Biwa Marathon 3rd (2:09:59)
2017: London Worlds Champs 11th (2:13:29)
2018: Gold Coast CW Games 2nd (2:19:02)
MUTAI’S medal HAUL
2018 - SILVER
Gold Coast CW Games
2015 - BRONZE
Beijing World Champs
MUTAI AT A GLANCE
Solomon Munyo Mutai
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1992
Giani Damadona (Italian)
Alex Malinga, Gabriele Rosa