Date
17 December 2017
Forty of the 65,000 runners in Sunday's marathon had to be sent to hospital. Photo: Reuters
Forty of the 65,000 runners in Sunday's marathon had to be sent to hospital. Photo: Reuters

Runner, 24, dies of heart failure after collapsing at marathon

The man who collapsed during Sunday’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon died Monday morning, Metro Hong Kong reported Tuesday.

The 24-year-old man, surnamed Woo and a 2012 engineering graduate from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, fell to the ground just 100 meters from the finish line and was rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai before being transferred to the intensive care unit of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan.

He was suspected to have been suffering from latent heart disease, which a cardiac specialist said normally does not show any symptoms.

Every marathon runner should undergo a heart check before participating in a race, just in case, the cardiologist said.

Lobo Louie Hung-tak, an associate professor of physical education at the Hong Kong Baptist University, said although the race was only 10 kilometers long, less than a full marathon, which is 42 kilometers long, the demands it placed on a runner’s physical condition and cardiopulmonary function were, in fact, higher.

Participants should undergo training before the race, Louie said.

The last fatality in the event occurred in 2012, when a 26-year-old male half-marathon runner collapsed. Another man collapsed and died in 2006.

About 65,000 runners took part in the race on Sunday, of whom 40 were sent to hospital, up from 30 last year. 

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