Shanghai half-marathon runner collapses and dies within sight of the finishing line

Man was third person to die in Chinese long-distance event in space of a month

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 November, 2017, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 November, 2017, 3:18pm

A man collapsed and died near the finish line at a half-marathon in Shanghai over the weekend – the third such death in mainland China over the past month.

The runner, 30, fell over and passed out after nearly completing the 21-kilometre race on Sunday morning, the first of its kind organised by authorities in Shanghai’s Changning district, reported on Monday.

The man, who has not yet been named, was one of 4,800 runners who set off from Zhongshan Park.

He collapsed just 120 metres from the finish line near Yan’an Middle School.

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Emergency treatment from medical staff failed to resuscitate the man, who weighed 90 kilograms and was known to have suffered from high blood pressure and other health problems.

Long-distance running has greatly increased in popularity in China in recent years, but the number of sudden deaths has also risen as runners with variable fitness levels join in the phenomenon.

A week ago, a 33-year-old participant in a half-marathon in Chongqing also collapsed and died near the end of the race.

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A similar tragedy happened to another man in Xinxiang in Henan province on November 5 just 2 kilometres into the event.

According to the Chinese Athletic Association, 14 participants, most of whom were younger than 35, died in long-distance events between 2014 and 2016.

About 400,000 people took part in such races in mainland China in 2011, and this number went up seven-fold to nearly 2.8 million people last year, official statistics showed.