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Ironman Cairns triathlete dies in hospital

A Japanese triathlete who had travelled to Queensland, Australia for last weekend’s Ironman Cairns has died in a nearby hospital, according to the Cairns Post.

The 47-year-old competitor was mid-way through the 3.8 km swim leg of Sunday’s race when medical personnel noticed he was suffering and pulled him from the water, unconscious. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and passed away yesterday afternoon.

In a statement, Ironman Oceania managing director Dave Beeche said the organization was “deeply saddened” by the triathlete’s death. “Our condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to support,” he said. 

Currently, it’s unclear exactly what happened to cause the triathlete to become unconscious during the swim. Beeche says, “We are working with the local authorities to gather all the details on how this incident occurred and will continue to do everything possible to provide a safe environment for our athletes.”

The death comes less than a month after another triathlete died at May’s Ironman 70.3 Cattanooga from a heart attack.