ChinaThe preparations of the local and the organizers were condemned after the hail disaster, which killed 21 athletes in the 100km event on May 22 in Gansu province.
By the afternoon of May 23 – according to local time, the number of athletes killed in the disaster increased to 21 people, compared with the original number of 20. 31-year-old ultra-marathon champions Liang Jing and Huang Guanjun – marathon gold medals at Dai China Disability Sports Festival 2019 – are two of the unfortunate victims.
The sudden accident and the large number of athletes who died made the Chinese running community angry. On social networks, many people questioned the preparation of the local government, where the race was held, as well as the tournament organizers. Huanghe Shilin Mountain Marathon was held at Yellow River Stone Forest Park, in Gansu Province.
According to Mr. Zhang Xuchen, representative of the organizing committee and mayor of nearby Baiyin City, the weather suddenly deteriorated as the athletes were climbing 2,000 meters above sea level, about to hit the first 20km mark. . Mr. Zhang was the one who fired the starting command gun. Most athletes only wore shorts and T-shirts, suddenly faced with freezing cold conditions and the rain turned to hail. Many people fainted from the cold.
“In a short time, hail and hailstorms fell on this area and there was strong wind. The temperature dropped deeply,” Mr. Zhang said. New York Times.
According to this official, some athletes sent video messages asking for help from the organizers. The local authorities immediately sent a rescue team to assist 18 of the athletes who asked for help. At 14:00 on May 22, the race was canceled.
But by the evening of the same day, the functional forces were fully engaged in rescue and rescue, with about 1,200 people participating, with drones and other equipment. In the videos posted by Chinese television, rescue workers rushed into the night with flashlights, protective suits, helmets … According to Mr. Zhang, the rescue work was difficult because on The mountain has a landslide after the rain. This area is prone to frequent floods and landslides. The deep drop in temperature also makes it difficult for rescuers.
The race begins at a tourist site near the Yellow River and follows a path through gorges with spotless stalagmites. Huanghe Shilin Mountain Marathon has been organized by the local government for the past four years. This trail run is part of efforts to boost tourism for Gansu – one of China’s poorest provinces.
This year’s tournament has 172 athletes competing in the 100km distance, while hundreds of other athletes have registered for shorter distances. Organizers confirmed 151 people were safe and 8 people were being treated at a hospital.
“At times, I couldn’t feel my fingers. At the same time, my throat froze,” one athlete told CNN after being rescued. He decided to stop the race and find a safe haven. After that, this athlete met the rescue team.
According to Mao Shuzi – athlete participating in the 100km distance, the day before the race, the weather in the area was still hot. “The weather forecast said it will be windy and light rain in Bach Ngan on May 22, but we all believe everything will be easy. No doubt,” this person told Reuters.
In an online press conference on the morning of May 23, stakeholders focused on the fact that the organizers did not prepare a plan for the possibility of an extreme weather situation. Some questioned the organizers’ subjectivity to the unusual developments of the weather.
The fact that two top Chinese athletes were among the dead increased public anger. Sheet Beijing News reported on the death of Liang Jing, winner of several major races in China in recent years. Steve Brammar, director of a 100km race in Hong Kong, insists Liang Jing is one of the best ultra marathon runners in the world.
The Gansu provincial government has set up an investigation team into the athletes’ deaths. During an online press conference on May 23, Mr. Zhang Xuchen apologized on behalf of the organizers: “As event organizers, we feel extremely apologetic. We mourn the victims and Deepest condolences to their families and to those injured.”
Xuan Thang synthetic
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