Swim­mer dies in Hong Kong har­bour race

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

A SWIM­MER drowned yes­ter­day in Hong Kong and an­other was left in crit­i­cal con­di­tion as they took part in the city’s an­nual cross-har­bour swim, which at­tracts world-class in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors.

Lo­cal me­dia said the man who died was rushed to hos­pi­tal after be­ing pulled un­con­scious from the wa­ter by a res­cue boat. He was re­ported to be in his for­ties.

A woman thought to be in her 60s was sep­a­rately pulled un­con­scious from the wa­ter and is re­ported to be in in­ten­sive care in hos­pi­tal.

The 1500-me­tre race saw around 3000 peo­ple swim be­tween two piers on op­po­site sides of Hong Kong’s fa­mous har­bour – 500 up from the pre­vi­ous year ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

Some lo­cal me­dia ques­tioned why only 10 ex­tra life­guards had been added when the field had ex­panded so much. There was a to­tal of 120 life­guards at the event, broad­caster RTHK re­ported on its web­site.

Swim­mers are split into rac­ing and re­cre­ational groups – both the vic­tims were tak­ing part in the leisure cat­e­gory, which is for slower swim­mers, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

The Hong Kong Am­a­teur Swim­ming As­so­ci­a­tion, who or­gan­ised the event, and the ti­tle spon­sor New World Devel­op­ment is­sued a state­ment ex­press­ing their “deep­est sor­row” over what they called a tragic ac­ci­dent.

“The swim­mer was res­cued but at­tempts to re­sus­ci­tate him failed and he sub­se­quently passed away,” the state­ment said.

It is the first death in the race since it was re­sumed in 2011 after a 30-year break, lo­cal me­dia re­ported.

The decades-long hia­tus was due to fears over pol­lu­tion lev­els in the wa­ter.

Amer­i­can swim­mer Charles Peter­son won the men’s ti­tle in just 16 min­utes 44 sec­onds this year.

Rio Olympics 10-kilo­me­tre open wa­ter gold medal­list Sharon van Rouwen­daal from the Nether­lands took the women’s crown. –

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