Collapsed marathon runner used false name

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2012, 12:00am


A Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon participant whose run landed him in hospital competed under a friend's name without official authorisation.

Mok Yu-ming, 25, collapsed in Victoria Park after finishing the 10- kilometre race on Sunday and was taken to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai. His condition went from critical to serious yesterday.

A woman who also fainted at the end of the race, Cheung Wai-yee, 23, went from critical to stable condition.

Mok's personal information did not match the number tag on his T-shirt, which was registered under the name of Wong Chun-kit.

Wong, 33, is believed to have been in Shenzhen at the time of the race.

The organising committee confirmed last night that Mok had acted as a substitute for a registered runner, whom it did not name. A spokesman had said earlier that the organisers would be unable to claim third-party insurance for injuries suffered by unofficial substitute runners.

A source said the organisers would also blacklist both runners. If Wong was found to be a professional athlete, he would be disciplined by the responsible sports association.

An internet search of their names showed Mok competed in the marathon in 2007, while Wong took part in 2006 and 2008. The race organisers could not confirm the information.

Some runners described identity checks for the marathon as lax, with runners allowed to join as long as he or she had a number tag.

Among the record 59,175 runners this year, 38 were sent to hospitals. As of last night, 12 were receiving treatment, including Mok and Cheung. Three were in serious condition, eight were stable, and the condition of the oldest patient, who is 89, was declared satisfactory.

A 26-year-old man died after finishing the half-marathon - the first casualty since 2006.

Insurance-sector legislator Chan Kin-por said third-party insurance, which organisers are usually required to buy for big events, could be claimed only when the organiser was responsible for the harm done.

For instance, if participants get hurt by the collapse of a stage, the insurer could compensate them on the organiser's behalf. Only runners with medical insurance would be compensated for injury arising from a previously unknown illness, Chan said.