A Kenyan athlete, Charles Maroa, on Sunday, February 26, collapsed and died shortly after competing in the men’s half marathon in the 2017 Kilimanjaro Marathon.
Mr Maroa, 36, died while undergoing treatment at KCMC Hospital, the first tragedy to hit the event since its inception, according to the race director, John Bayo, reports Tanzania’s The Citizen.
“He had competed in the men’s 21km race. We are at a loss to understand how this has happened. It’s a massive shock,” said Bayo as quoted by The Citizen.
Kilimanjaro Police Commander Wilbroad Mutafngwa confirmed the incident, saying Maroa was rushed to hospital after collapsing at the Kilimanjaro Marathon.
Kenyan athletes won top ten positions in both men’s and women’s events of the race sanctioned by the world athletics governing body (IAAF).
But the good results could not be celebrated due to the death of Mr Maroa.
In the men’s 42km race, Kenya’s Moses Hengiti won gold after clocking 2:16:42 followed by his countrymen William Koskei and Yangus Katum, who finished second and third respectively.
Emmanuel Giniki, 28, a Tanzanian, stormed to victory in the men’s half marathon (21km), which was also dominated by Kenyans George Njoroge, who finished second; nine seconds ahead of third-placed Alaxander Munyao.