While races around much of the world have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, tragedy struck at the first race of the season on the island of Mauritius last weekend. According to media reports Jayrajsing (Roshan) Hazareesing, 55, died on January 17 at a sprint triathlon in Le Morne, Mauritius that had attracted about 60 athletes, presumably all locals as the country requires a strict 14-day quarantine in a hotel for anyone who travels to the island.
According to a report in lexpress.mu it wasn’t until the awards ceremony for the race had started at about 11 AM that someone noticed that Hazareesing’s bike remained in transition along with his helmet and cycling shoes, leading organizers to believe that he hadn’t come out of the water. The coast guard assisted in the search for his body, utilizing a helicopter. At about 1 PM his body was found in the water.
“We started to panic when we saw that there was a great possibility that he never got out of the water,” a person who helped with the search told lemauricien.com. “He came to the competition alone, so no one reported he was missing. Coastguards and a helicopter arrived at the scene. By the time they could find him, it was already too late.”
According to lexpress.mu the autopsy “attributed Roshan Hazareesing’s death to asphixia due to drowning.”
Alain St-Louis, the president of Federation Mauricienne de Triathlon (FMTri), told reporters that this was the first time an athlete had died during one of the organization’s events.
“The triathlon is in mourning,” St-Louis is quoted in a story on Defimedia.info . “No one understands this sudden disappearance. We are awaiting the findings of the investigation so that we can know the real reasons for his death. However, conditions were ideal in Le Morne on Sunday. The tide was low and there was no real current.”
St-Louis also told Defimedia.info that Hazareesing had provided the federation with the required medical certificate to obtain a license to participate in federation events.
Hazareesing, who was from Curepipe, Mauritius, is survived by his wife and “two children aged 17 and 19” and an older brother, Kishan, according to lexpress.mu. An avid athlete, in addition to triathlons he participated in trail runs and martial arts.