The unfortunate and unexpected happened as two people died during the Ironman competition that is taking place in Port Elizabeth on the 7th of April, 2019. According to the spokesperson of the Ironman South Africa competition, Siya Ndzimande, the two athletes who died needed medical attention during the swimming portion of the race in which every effort failed. Details of the ironman tragedy are explained in the following paragraphs.
What does the Ironman competition consist of? An Ironman competition is a series of triathlon races usually of a long distance that is organised by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). In the competition, there are 2.4 miles (3.86 km) of swimming followed by a bicycle ride of 112 miles (180.25 km), and then another running race of 26.22 miles (42.20 km). The one-day sporting activity is generally classed among the most difficult sporting events that take place in a day all over the world.
Iron man tragic flaw
With this 15th edition of Ironman South Africa event recording more than 2000 athletes, it is more of sad news than good ones as the health of two out of all the competitors suddenly began to pant after medical attention. These competitors were Leon Stanvliet, aged 63, from George and Andre Trichardt who is 58 years from Durban. Based on the causes of the deaths, according to the report from officials, Stanvliet's case was convulsion while Trichardt's case seems to be that of a heart-related problem.
As soon as each of the competitors was discovered, it was reported that rescuers had to come to their aid only for the attempts to resuscitate them. As soon as they were rushed to the hospital immediately after their rescue from the water, they were confirmed dead. Based on what the spokesperson of the police, Col Priscilla Naidu, the two incidents took place about 10 minutes apart during the swimming section of the competition at Hobie Beach. Then, according to Naidu:
At this stage we are awaiting the postmortem results to determine the exact causes of death. No foul play is believed to be part of the incidents and two inquest cases are under investigation.
Moreover, the organisers of the championship have said in a statement that work is going on with the local authorities to get adequate information about the whole incidence. According to them:
It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of two race participants at the Ironman African Championship. Both athletes required medical attention during the swim portion of Sunday’s race and were transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated.
“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of both athletes, whom we will continue to support. We are working with the local authorities to gather all details and will continue to do everything possible to provide a safe environment for our athletes.
While the Ironman tragedy is irreversible, we also do hope that the family and loved ones of the deceased will have the fortitude to bear the loss.