Dead Runner's Daughter Vents Anger At Race Organisers

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2021-05-24 HKT 16:37

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  • A mainland woman says she saw her father with blue hands and foaming at the mouth in a video circulating on social media.

    A mainland woman says she saw her father with blue hands and foaming at the mouth in a video circulating on social media.

A mainland woman has demanded answers from the organisers of an ill-fated ultramarathon as to why they took so long to tell her what had happened to her father – one of 21 competitors who died after extremely cold weather struck the race.

Hail, freezing rain and high winds have been blamed for the deaths of the runners taking part in a 100-kilometre cross-country mountain race on Saturday in Gansu province.

As authorities launch an investigation, mainland social media have erupted in mourning and outrage, questioning why organisers had not been better prepared for the extreme weather.

Writing on Weibo, a woman said that in the early hours of Sunday, she was informed by the race organisers that her father was missing.

But she later spotted him in a video circulating on social media. The footage, which appeared to have been taken in the daytime, showed him with blue hands and foaming at the mouth.

The woman said it wasn't until later on Sunday that the authorities confirmed her father had been found, and that he had died.

She said she had demanded to know why there had been insufficient supply stations and manpower along the route.

State broadcaster CCTV said in an online commentary on Sunday that the Gansu tragedy was "a wake-up call for marathon events that have bloomed almost everywhere in China in recent years".

"Route planning, safety guarantees, medical preparations, emergency rescue, food supplies, etc., need to be precise and foolproof," said CCTV, also warning runners to "respect nature, respect science, cherish life". (Additional reporting by AFP)