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Tragedy Strikes Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon as Runner Succumbs After Finish

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2024

In a poignant turn of events, a 30-year-old participant of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, drawing a staggering 74,000 contenders, met an untimely demise yesterday. The mainland’s half-marathon runner, Zhang Zhichong, collapsed at Tin Hau MTR station around 1:15 pm, approximately two hours post the race’s conclusion.

Despite immediate transport to Ruttonjee Hospital, Zhang was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter. Notably, he did not have a history of chronic illness; however, his heart had ceased when discovered at the station.

Efforts to revive Zhang included cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillator application in the ambulance. Upon reaching the emergency room at Ruttonjee, Zhang was intubated, yet his life could not be salvaged.

Expressing profound sorrow over the tragedy, the Hong Kong, China Association of Athletics Affiliates, the event’s organizer, has reached out to Zhang’s family to extend support. The Association disclosed that 842 runners faced injuries or ailments, with 34 requiring admission to public hospitals. One individual remained in critical condition as of last night, while four others were classified as serious, and 20 were in stable condition.

A separate incident involved a male participant in the 10-kilometer race who suffered a cardiac arrest near the finish line. Fortunately, his condition improved following prompt medical attention.

These unfortunate incidents contribute to a growing tally of fatalities over the past ten marathons, including a local construction clerk in 2012, a male engineer in 2015, a female participant in 2017, and a male teacher in 2018.

Commencing at 5:40 am on the Island Eastern Corridor near Central-Wan Chai Bypass, the marathon attracted runners from diverse backgrounds. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, officiating at the starting line, lauded the event for fostering a lively atmosphere and stimulating economic development by drawing both local and international participants.

The marathon comprised various categories, with the 42km route taking runners across the city through major thoroughfares. Approximately one-tenth of this year’s participants hailed from the mainland and overseas.

Despite the tragic incidents, many runners attested to favorable weather conditions, describing the marathon as challenging yet rewarding. Anderson Seroi of Kenya clinched the men’s title with a time of two hours, 12 minutes, and 50 seconds, while Medina Armino from Ethiopia emerged as the women’s champion, completing the race in two hours, 28 minutes, and 47 seconds.

Organizing chairman Kwan Kee announced an increased award of HK$10,000 for 446 marathon runners who completed the full course in under three hours for males and 3.5 hours for females.

In the local contingent, Wong Wan-chun topped the men’s category with a time of two hours, 23 minutes, and 23 seconds, while Christy Yiu Kit-ching claimed the women’s title, finishing in two hours, 41 minutes, and nine seconds.

Reflecting on his victory, Wong emphasized the importance of resilience, stating, “Before knowing how to win, you must learn how to lose.” Meanwhile, Yiu expressed her desire to improve on her performance, having recently given birth.

The half-marathon and 10km races saw first-time participants Sun Xiaoyang from Beijing and Chen Yufan from Beijing securing victories in their respective categories. Despite the tragedy that marred the event, runners and organizers alike remain committed to the enduring spirit of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon.