Kenyan runner dies after mountain race in Cameroon-Xinhua

Kenyan runner dies after mountain race in Cameroon

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-25 09:31:00

YAOUNDE, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan runner died of a suspected heart attack after collapsing at the finish of Saturday's Cameroon mountain race, Africa's oldest international athletic competition, according to officials.

The 33-year-old athlete identified as Charles Kipsang Kipkorir was leading the race but suffered a malaise that forced him to briefly stop minutes to the finish line, said Bernard Okalai Bilia, governor of the Southwest region where the race took place.

Kipkorir who succeeded in crossing the finish line thereafter, collapsed after collecting his prize. He was rushed to the hospital where he died minutes later.

"We cannot say exactly what happened. He was fine. He was good after the race. We might believe that it is something like heart attack," Bilia told reporters Saturday evening while announcing his death.

"It is a very sad situation because he was at his fourth participation. It is a great loss for the African athletic federation, for his country Kenya, and for us Cameroon," he added.

There was consternation and sadness in the town of Buea, which hosted the race following the announcement of his death.

Over 600 runners from Congo, Ethiopia, France, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Tanzania, Chad, Tunisia and Cameroon took part in the annual competition.

The race, dubbed Race of Hope, is of a particularly difficult terrain, with athletes going up and down the mountain, which is over 4,100 meters above sea level.