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Hong Kong triathlete reported missing and Malaysian man dies in rough seas during Olympic distance race at Port Dickson International Triathlon

Wife sounds alarm after Jeffrey Yuen Chi-yuen fails to return to the beach at end of 1.5km swim

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 July, 2018, 9:18pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 July, 2018, 7:23am

A Hong Kong triathlete is missing and another participant has died during a race in Malaysia.

Malaysian media reported that 42-year-old Jeffrey Yuen Chi-yuen was reported missing on Sunday morning, when he failed to return to the beach after the 1.5km swim leg of the Olympic distance race in the Port Dickson International Triathlon.

A police spokesman told local media that Yuen’s wife contacted organisers after failing to find him at the beach, in their hotel room, or elsewhere.

The news came as 39-year-old Malaysian, Tharm Wei Wong, who was also competing in the race, was reported to have drowned in the sea, around the same time Yuen is believed to have disappeared.

According to the event’s website, the race was expected to start at 7.10am.

Other media reports suggested the sea had been quite rough at the start of the race, and a committee has been set up to investigate Tharm’s death.

It will focus on whether any laws or safety regulations had been broken.


The spokesman said a bicycle which Yuen was to have used in the bike portion had not been moved, and his water bottle was full, indicating he did not make it to the first transition.

Participants in an Olympic Distance triathlon are expected to swim 1.5km, cycle 40km, and run 10km.

A search has been conducted to look for the Hongkonger.

Port Dickson, where the triathlon was held, is a beach resort destination in Negeri Sembilan, a state on the western coast of the Malaysian peninsula. It is about 90km south of Kuala Lumpur.

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department said it had immediately followed up with the Hong Kong office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Chinese embassy in Malaysia.

The department said it would provide appropriate and practical assistance to the missing person’s family, and would continue to stay in close contact with relevant parties and actively follow up on the case.

In October last year, Martin So, a 66-year-old former chief executive of health and beauty retailer AS Watson Group drowned during a Hong Kong triathlon event on Lantau Island.

So, who was reportedly on long-term medication, fell ill while in the water and was declared dead after being taken to hospital.