Michael Shelley passes Callum Hawkins on the Sundale Bridge to take the lead in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games last year. Picture: AAP.
Michael Shelley passes Callum Hawkins on the Sundale Bridge to take the lead in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games last year. Picture: AAP.

Shelley says goodbye! Marathon hero hangs up running shoes

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games marathon winner Michael Shelley is hanging up his racing shoes.

Shelley delighted his home crowd by taking gold in the marathon in April last year.

The 36-year-old Gold Coaster had set his sights on next year's Tokyo Olympics but announced on Facebook today that he lost the desire to race.

"Over the last couple of weeks, I have come to the decision that I no longer have the desire to compete competitively again," he posted.

Michael Shelley of Australia crosses the finish line to win the Men's Marathon at the Commonwealth Games. Picture: AAP
Michael Shelley of Australia crosses the finish line to win the Men's Marathon at the Commonwealth Games. Picture: AAP

"While I have still been out running the drive to complete the training that I feel I need to compete at my best is gone.

"To my Dad, Mum and brother it is hard to put into words how much your support and encouragement has meant to me. Thank you for all you have done to help me follow my dreams. Extended family and friends thank you for your support, encouragement and understanding throughout my running journey."

Shelley also thanked his coaches, chiropractor, sponsors, sports management company, Athletics Australia and the Queensland Academy of Sport.

 

Michael Shelley passes Callum Hawkins on the Sundale Bridge to take the lead in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games last year. Picture: AAP.
Michael Shelley passes Callum Hawkins on the Sundale Bridge to take the lead in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games last year. Picture: AAP.

 

"Last, but not least thank you to everyone that has said g'day or hello while I have been out training, especially in Oxenford and the Gold Coast your support and encouragement has been greatly appreciated," he wrote.

After the Commonwealth Games marathon, Shelley was targeted by online trolls for failing to stop and help Scottish rival Callum Hawkins, who was leading the gruelling race until his sickening collapse less than 2km from the finish line.

Shelley said he believed Hawkins, who stumbled and crashed into a road barrier on the Sundale Bridge as his legs dramatically gave way, was being tended to by a volunteer.

"I was struggling myself when I got to the finish line," Shelley said.

"It was just what happened. I saw the volunteer beside him and I didn't see any lead-up. I just saw that he was getting help."

 

 

Games chairman Peter Beattie said later that Shelley was a great Australian who deserved his gold medal and the knockers should 'back off and leave him alone'.

"He's a very decent and sensitive guy, and there's no doubt he's been hurt by the criticism, which is totally unwarranted.

"Of course everyone was concerned for the Scot's welfare, but he said 'no' to assistance on a couple of occasions because if he'd taken it, he would have been disqualified."

Shelley also won gold in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games marathon and a silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.



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