Sports / China

Young runner dies after Guangzhou Marathon

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2012-11-20 10:26

Young runner dies after Guangzhou Marathon

Chen Jie is treated by medics after suffering a heart attack before being rushed to hospital during the Guangzhou Marathon in Guangzhou, Nov 18, 2012. [Photo/CFP]

At 8: 27 am on Sunday, Chen Jie said on his micro blog that he had finished half of his 10 km race and posted a photo featuring several runners during the Guangzhou Marathon.

It was his last message as in less than an hour he had been rushed to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest soon after crossing the finish line.

The 21-year-old was confirmed dead on Monday morning, Guangzhou Marathon organizing committee sources said.

Doctors at a subsidiary hospital of the Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine said Chen suffered cardiac failure again on Sunday night, several hours after his heart was restarted following emergency treatment at the course.

Doctors said Chen's heart started beating again during treatment at the hospital, but the cardiac arrest had damaged other organs.

"Most participants are not professional runners. We urged runners to pay more attention to their health," said Tang Xiaoping, director of the medical service department of the marathon's organizing committee.

According to Tang, 1,517 runners suffered symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness and cramps during the event's various races.

The marathon, the first of its kind in Guangzhou, attracted more than 20,000 Chinese and overseas runners. Of that number, only 49 were listed as professional athletes.

"Through the event, we found the health of young people worse than that of senior participants," Tang said.

However, Chen, according to some of his weibo messages, was fond of sporting activities.

Prior to the marathon, he climbed a mountain on Saturday and said on his weibo:"Enjoy climbing. When you climb atop the mountain, you realize that all efforts are aimed at enjoying the beautiful scenery that you face. Your world becomes so broad at that moment."

Young runner dies after Guangzhou Marathon

Chen Jie is treated by medics after suffering a heart attack before being rushed to hospital during the Guangzhou Marathon in Guangzhou, Nov 18, 2012. [Photo/CFP]

Chen, a student at Guangdong AIB Polytechnic College, was from Maoming in western Guangdong.

A cousin of Chen told the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News that the organizing committee had discussed issues related to Chen's death on Monday afternoon.

Besides Chen, another runner, 25, also suffered a cardiac arrest after he finished the 5 km race on Sunday. He is still in hospital.

Zhang Huijun, a publicity official with the organizing committee, told China Daily that issues such as compensation for Chen's family were being discussed.

Chen's death is not China's only distance-running fatality. Two runners died during a marathon held in Beijing in 2004, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Zhang said the marathon in Guangzhou would go ahead next year as local government authorities had negotiated with the International Association of Athletics Federations for the approval of an international standard marathon route.


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