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World Endurance Africa confirms that two South African male athletes aged 29 and 37 suffered fatal cardiac respiratory arrest during the swim leg of the Spec-Savers IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa this morning, 20 January 2013.
The event Chief Doctor Izak Maree, confirmed that both athletes suffered cardiac respiratory arrest. Water safety attempted to resuscitate the athletes on scene and in the medical tent. They were then transported to St Dominic’s for further specialist investigation.
After reassessment at St Dominic’s they were pronounced dead.
Both athletes had no reported history of cardiac or other medical conditions in terms of the medical details that the athletes reported to IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa.
We will be holding a minute’s silence at the awards ceremony in respect to the individuals and their families. In all the years in which we’ve staged our events, this is the first time that an incident of this nature has happened.
We express our sincere condolences to the families. It is a loss to the families and a loss to the IRONMAN 70.3 family – Keith Bowler, Managing Director World Endurance Africa.
As title sponsor, we feel devastated that two individuals, who engaged in IRONMAN 70.3 as healthy athletes, tragically lost their lives as a result of suspected cardiac arrest. Our sincere condolences are extended to their immediate family and friends of the athletes and as a sign of respect we have dropped our Spec-Savers branding flags on the pier to half mast and removed our flags at the finish line.
We express our deepest condolences to the family members and we feel it is very unfortunate that it happened as a result of a suspected cardiac arrest. At our first Buffalo City meeting we will have a minute of silence in respect to the athletes and their families.
Unfortunately it is the first time that such a tragedy has occurred and we hope it will be the last – Cllr Zukiswa Ncitha, Buffalo City Executive Mayor.
Out of respect for the families, we will not release the names of the athletes.