Man dies after struggling at Singapore International Triathlon

Man dies after struggling at Singapore International Triathlon
Participants at the 2016 edition of the Singapore International Triathlon. TODAY file photo
Published: 5:44 PM, September 10, 2017
Updated: 11:33 PM, September 10, 2017

SINGAPORE - A 42-year-old man died while taking part in the Singapore International Triathlon (SIT) at East Coast Park on Sunday (Sept 10).

Stephen Begley, a Briton, was competing in the swim leg of the relay competition, according to race officials.

He experienced difficulties in the sea and was unconscious when he was pulled out of the water. After attempts to resuscitate him failed, he was rushed to Singapore General Hospital, where he died.

Mr Begley was a former player with Scottish amateur rugby club Glasgow Hawks RFC.

The club wrote on its website Sunday evening: "Early this morning we received the tragic news that former Hawks player Steve Begley had died whilst taking part in a triathlon in Singapore.

"Steve played for Glasgow Accies and Hawks for many seasons including the League and Cup double year 1998 and he also played in the historic win over Toulouse at Old Anniesland.

"The thoughts of everybody associated with Hawks and Glasgow rugby are with his brother Matt and the rest of his family at this very sad time."

In a media statement, the Triathlon Association of Singapore (TAS) confirmed the death of the participant but declined to mention his nationality. The TAS said it was only able to share more details when investigations are completed.

"We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of a competitor during the swim portion of the Singapore International Triathlon 2017," said the TAS.

"Immediate medical assistance and resuscitation was commenced at the event site. We also had a medical doctor with automated external defibrillator and other medical equipment for resuscitation on site.

"He was transported to Singapore General Hospital where he was treated. Sadly, he could not be revived despite resuscitation efforts.

"At this moment, we have established contact with his family and we will do our best to render them any assistance they may require at this point in time.

"We are saddened and all our prayers are with his family at this time. We will only be able to share more details once an investigation has been completed."

This is the second time a death has occurred at the SIT, which has been held since 1984.

In 2009, Calvin Lee, who was also 42 then, died after experiencing difficulties during the swim leg.

Lee, the chief executive officer of a telecommunications company, was unconscious and foaming at the mouth when he was taken to shore and died later at Changi General Hospital.

This year's Singapore International Triathlon drew almost 2,000 people, including more than 850 participants from 57 countries.

Besides the standard distance race (1.5km swim, 36km bike and 10km run), this year's SIT also included the sprint distance (which is made up of a 750m swim, an 18km bike ride and a 5km run), a mini triathlon (200m swim, 12km bike and 2km run), and a kids' event (100m; 6km; 1km).