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Parents of teen who died after 2.4km run 'prayed for a miracle' at hospital

SINGAPORE — Some 400 family members, friends and teachers turned up to pay their last respects on Wednesday (August 2) to Benjamin Sim, a 16-year-old student from Chong Boon Secondary School, who collapsed and died on Tuesday after a 2.4km run during physical education lesson.

Parents of teen who died after 2.4km run 'prayed for a miracle' at hospital

Benjamin Sim, a 16-year-old student from Chong Boon Secondary School, collapsed and died on Tuesday (Aug 1) after a 2.4km run during physical education lesson. Photo: Syed Ebrahim/TODAY

SINGAPORE — Some 400 family members, friends and teachers turned up to pay their last respects on Wednesday (August 2) to Benjamin Sim, a 16-year-old student from Chong Boon Secondary School, who collapsed and died on Tuesday after a 2.4km run during physical education lesson.

Speaking to TODAY at the wake held at the Singapore Bible Baptist Church on Wednesday, the boy’s father, Mr Davy Sim, said that he thought it was “just a fall” when he got a call from the school.

Mr Sim, 55, a senior pastor at the church, had just dropped his son off at school that day and was having his breakfast when he was informed about the incident some time past 8am.

He drove home to fetch his wife, Madam Lim Wei Tze, 53, before heading to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The doctor was still resuscitating Benjamin at the time. “We were still praying for a miracle then,” Mdm Lim said, adding that their boy died shortly after.

Mr Sim told TODAY he understood that Benjamin had “finished the race, collapsed ... and hit the ground”.

The results of the autopsy would be out in five to six months.

Mr Sim said that he shared a “very good” relationship with his son, having spent years playing sports together. “There were so many moments (we shared), and he was such a lovely boy,” he said.

“He was always with me, at soccer games, all the games, like volleyball, basketball, running, swimming.”

When Benjamin was in upper primary school, they would exercise together “almost every day”, playing football in particular.

“In my ministry, I have very flexible time, so I’ll always reserve my time for my son,” Mr Sim said. “I thought I’d be the one going first. Little did I expect that life (made) that turn.”

He added: “Sometimes I wondered if I was spoiling him ... but now this has happened, I thank God I’ve given my all.”

At the wake, Benjamin’s maternal grandmother was in tears. Mr Sim delivered a sermon during a 40-minute service that began at 8pm.

The deceased’s brother, Mr Daniel Sim, 23, was also present, having returned home Wednesday morning from South Korea where he was on a month-long school exchange programme.

“It feels like a bad dream,” the mechanical engineering undergraduate from the National University of Singapore said.

He remembered that his younger brother was very active in volleyball, playing the sport two to three times a week as part of his school’s co-curricular activity and for leisure.

“He even applied for DSA (direct school admission) into a few different junior colleges (based on his performance for the sport),” he said.

Mr Daniel Sim’s girlfriend, Ms Lucy Luo, said of Benjamin: “(I) could tell that he really, really liked sports because most of the time when I (was at their home), he either just came back from volleyball training or was going to play volleyball,” the 22-year-old student said.

A group of six volleyball players from Dunman Secondary School, all aged 16, attended the wake, but they declined to give their names. They used to train with Benjamin outside of school weekly, and up to “five times a week” during holidays, they said.

That was until June, when their competition season ended and they had to prepare for their GCE O-Level examinations.

Calling Benjamin “one of the main players” in his team, one student from the group said: “He would always encourage us and cheer on his team.”

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