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Two athletes shot while racing Ironman 70.3 San Juan

san_juan_puerto_rico_november-550x412Two triathletes were shot yesterday while racing Ironman 70.3 San Juan. Age groupers Liz Boivin (26) of Fitchburg, Wisc., and local resident Miguel Arroyo Ramos (49) were caught in a crossfire of gunshots exchanged between  two cars as they took chase along the bike course in the district of Miramar.

According to the Associated Press, Boivin was hit in the left calf while three bullets struck Arroyo in the left side. Boivin is assisting Puerto Rico authorities with their investigation and seems to be doing well after having the shrapnel removed from her calf. Earlier today Boivin posted pictures from the race on Facebook with the comment “I only finished the swim—but it was my best swim yet!”

According to agency spokesperson, Moises Quinones, the FBI may soon take charge of the case. In a statement following the decision to continue race, Ironman said, “The San Juan police have indicated that this was an isolated incident, the race and athletes were not a target, and that the course is safe for the race to continue.”

The El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported that local resident Jose Ramos Tapia, a passenger in one of the cars involved in the outbreak of gunfire, was found dead. The 25-year-old had recently been released from prison following drug-related charges. Multiple bullets were fired at a polic patrol car from the second car involved in the incident. While no officers were injured, the car was found abandoned. Authorities continue their investigation.

Despite the incident, the race did showcase excellent performances. Brazil’s Igor Amorelli won the race in 3:45:59, over five minutes ahead of US pro Chris Leiferman. Canada’s Cedric Boily was third. On the women’s side Olympian Sarah Haskins of the US led the race from the start, winning her debut attempt at the distance. Dede Griesbauer and Jackie Hering also both of the US took second and third respectively.