On Sunday I watched the Commonwealth Games marathon race, and was totally inspired by Callum Hawkins, the young Scottish athlete who fell short at the 40km mark in his effort to win a gold medal for Scotland.

He gave 100 per cent of himself to his sport, his team and his country, and is a role model for all aspiring athletes around the world.

He is a credit to himself and his family for his gallant effort, and I hope on his return to Scotland his effort does not go unnoticed. In no way do I want to diminish the achievements of those athletes who did finish the marathon, especially the gold medal winner, Australian Michael Shelley, and Callum's Scottish team mate Robbie Simpson, who came third, but in my opinion this young athlete, Callum Hawkins, epitomises the spirit of sport in the Commonwealth Games.

Growing up, I can always remember my own coach saying — it does not matter if you win or lose, it is how you play the game. Yes, Callum Hawkins did not win the race, but he showed everyone his commitment and dedication to be the first Scot to stand on the top of the podium in the gold medal position for over 50 years.

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The Scottish people should be extremely proud of this young man, and no doubt we will be hearing more of him in the future, perhaps in the marathon at the Olympics in Tokyo.

PAUL REA
Hawera