Cobra Ironman 70.3 organizers to assist family of dead competitor
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The organizers of this year's Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines will take care of all expenses needed to bring the body of one of the competitors home, after he died during the race.
Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI) said it will take care of bringing home to Manila the body of Eric Nadal Mediavillo, who died Sunday morning, August 6, when he suffered a cardiac arrest during the swim leg of the ironman competition held in Cebu.
"So we will make sure that na ayos 'yong sa hospital, na ayos na rin yong casket, lagay sa eroplano and I think they're also making arrangements with the employer of Eric to assist when they land in Manila," said Princess Galura, SEI general manager.
(So we will make sure that everything is taken cared of at the hospital, that the casket is also taken cared of, [as well as the] transport [of the body] via plane, and, I think they're also making arrangements with the employer of Eric to assist when they land in Manila.)
Competitors and organizers observed a moment of silence for Mediavillo prior to the competition's awarding ceremonies.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of one of our athletes following the Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Cebu. The athlete required medical attention during the swim portion of Sunday’s race and was properly transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated. Our condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to support,” SEI said in a statement about the incident.
According to an investigation conducted by the Lapu-Lapu City police, while in the water, Mediavillo was seen waving his hand at 8:30 am asking for assistance from the marshals.
He was immediately pulled out of the water by the marshals and members of the Philippine Coast Guard who were manning the swim route, but he was already unconscious.
Paramedics of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) immediately tried to revive Mediavillo before transporting him to the Mactan Doctors' Hospital where he was declared dead at 9:47 am.
Mediavillo was a member of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) Multisports Team and was competing in the 45-49 category.
Mediavillo is the third casualty in the history of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines competition. During the first staging of the race in 2009 in Camarines Sur, Juan Miguel Vazquez also died when he suffered a stroke, also during the swim leg. In 2012, in the first staging of the race in Cebu, Ramon Igaña Jr. also died when he suffered an acute pulmonary embolism during the 90-kilometer bike ride.
Participants are made to sign a waiver that they have no medical condition and that they are physically fit when they register for the event.
The medical team headed by Dr. Peter Mancao had to deal with several other medical cases but none were fatal.
Aside from the tragic death of Mediavillo, the start of the swim was also delayed for a few minutes after a power failure.
A stronger spring tide, contrary to an earlier forecast that there will be no spring tide, also cut off several swimmers.
Despite the unfortunate events, many of the participants still finished the grueling 1.9-kilometer swim, 90-kilometer bike ride and 21-kilometer run, with many of them, especially the pros, promising to return for next year's edition which will be another Asia Pacific Championship. – Rappler.com
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