Hong Kong Marathon 2015

Hong Kong runner, 24, dies after collapsing close to marathon finishing line

Hongkonger suffered head injury after falling 100 metres from end of race

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 January, 2015, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 3:09pm

A runner who collapsed just 100 metres from the finishing line at the Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday has died in hospital.

Hongkonger Ng Cheuk-yue, 24, a runner in the 10km race, was certified dead at 11.37am yesterday at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan following a night in intensive care.

The exact cause of his death was yet to be determined by the Coroner's Court, according to a Hospital Authority spokesman.

Ng collapsed and suffered a head injury in Causeway Bay at around 8.20am, just 100 metres from the finishing line in Victoria Park. He was taken to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai before being transferred to Eastern.

The University of Science and Technology yesterday confirmed in a statement that Ng had graduated in civil and environmental engineering there in 2012.

University president Professor Tony Chan Fan-cheong offered his condolences and the university said it would provide any necessary assistance.

Speaking from the hospital, Ng's aunt, who declined to give her name, said his parents and elder sister had been at the hospital with him overnight. "I'm really sad," she said. "Such a tragedy. He was a quiet and smart boy."

Another runner is in a critical condition after he was taken ill crossing the Tsing Ma Bridge. The man, 49, remains in the ICU at Yan Chai Hospital.

Making body checks compulsory for over 70,000 runners would be impracticable, said Baptist University physical education professor Dr Lobo Louie Hung-tak. He added no marathon in the world had such a requirement because of the huge costs and that check-ups were effective only if done immediately before the race.

But those who have heart conditions, or a family history of heart problems, should have check-ups before a marathon.

Louie added: "Postponing the start time even by two hours would be very helpful; one more hour of sleep can make a huge difference [to your body]."

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Some 65,000 runners took part in 10km, half-marathon and marathon races on Sunday, along with 3km and 10km wheelchair events.

A total of 40 runners were sent to hospital, up from 30 last year.

Marathon organisers, the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association and Standard Chartered Bank, also offered their condolences to Ng's family.

Meanwhile, friends and family of Ng last night appealed for the return of his missing iPhone, which may offer clues as to what happened. The phone was not found in either of the hospitals or at the police station yesterday.

The last fatality in the big race was in 2012, when a 26-year-old male half-marathon runner collapsed. Another man collapsed and died 13km into the 2006 race.