The annual Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon is a noteworthy event, but the death of a 26-year-old male runner cast a shadow over this year's race.
It brought up the question of whether the organisers should ask participants for medical approval beforehand.
Nearly 70,000 people enrolled in the marathon this year. It would not be practical to collect all of the runners' medical records. The time and manpower needed would be tremendous. And who would pay for it?
Besides, medical approval alone would not give the full picture. The health condition of each runner changes with time, lifestyle habits and other factors. The weather and mental preparation of the participant on the day will also have an influence.
The answer lies with us. We must be in good shape before entering any kind of athletic competition.
Tsui Wing-sze, Maryknoll Fathers' School
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Wing-sze. It is great that you look at this issue from all angles and with critical thinking. For me, however, the issue was not that someone died. Death is an inevitable part of life, and while we can take precautions, we shouldn't let our fears slow us down.
However, when someone does die, it is always a good idea to afford them some dignity. The TV coverage of the runner dying was too much. At some point, cameramen need to step back and give people some privacy.