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Monday June 28, 2010

Death mars KL marathon

KUALA LUMPUR: More than 16,500 people took part in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon which took the runners on a route from Dataran Merdeka past some of the city’s historical landmarks.

The event not only attracted marathon enthusiasts but also entire families who took part for fun.

However, the event was marred by the death of a runner, Lim Wei Yee, 25.

Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman said Lim died on his way to the hospital and that his body had been sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for post-mortem.

Show of hands: Runners at the start of the marathon at Dataran Merdeka yesterday, and the winners (inset, from left) Shaharudin Hashim, Tan Bee Kiang and Goitetom Haftu Tesema. Nelson Kirwa Rotich (right) came first and scooped the top prize of RM350,000. — Bernama

He said the police had yet to receive any report alleging negligence on the part of the organisers over Lim’s demise, which had been classified as sudden death.

Earlier, software engineer Toh Yit Ming, 26, said he was running his final lap on the 10km run when he saw a participant, whom he only knew as “Lim”, sitting on the roadside in front of City Hall before collapsing.

“He was having a seizure. A few runners tried to put him in a recovery position,” he said in a telephone interview, adding that he had told Lim to relax and breathe deeply as he was short of breath and clenching his teeth.

Toh said he, a doctor taking part in the event, and another participant had taken turns to apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Lim when his pulse stopped.

He claimed no medical services arrived until about 15 to 20 minutes later.

“I am disappointed that the ambulance came late when the Runners’ Guide had stated that response time for emergency medical services would be three minutes and that medical aid was available every 5km of the marathon stretch,” said Toh, adding that three City Hall officers standing nearby with their motorcycles had not bothered to help the group.

He said he had to tell a passer-by to inform the officers to call the ambulance.

Toh also alleged that when the ambulance arrived, it did not have an automated external defibrillator or a face mask with pump (to pump in more air into the lungs).

Organiser Golazo Sdn Bhd race director Wes Sakai said they were unable to comment because they were still collecting information on the incident.

He said they were notified that a runner participating in a 10km run had collapsed and died during the race, adding that he was given first-aid treatment on site and rushed to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

“We extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the family on their loss and offer our support during this period of bereavement,” he said.

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