Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Runner Võ Văn Thơm died after collapsing 18 kilometres into the HCM City International Marathon over the weekend. He was 24 years old.
Thơm was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.
His funeral took place in his home of Chí Công Commune, Tuy Phong District in the southern province of Bình Thuận.
“Thơm loved sports very much,” said Thơm’s brother, Võ Văn Thạnh. “He took part in many tournaments. I never heard that he had any diseases. But the doctors said he had a stroke, leading to the death. Thơm was still single so we are very heartbroken.”
“My family has only two brothers, Thơm and me,” said Thạnh. “We were working in HCM City. We send money monthly to help our parents. My father is old so he can’t catch fish anymore, while my mother is also old and weak. She has a small grocery to earn her living. On Monday, we had to spend more than VNĐ65millon (US$2,800) to cover hospital expenses and bring Thơm from HCM City to Bình Thuận.”
Thơm graduated from HCM City University of Science. He worked at the ADVO – Singapore education centre in the city. He also took part in the HCM City International Marathon last year and finished in the top 90 runners.
There has been an outpouring of support for Thơm’s family following his death.
“At present, the sum of money donated from Thơm’s colleagues and friends is about VNĐ90million ($3,900),” said Trần My, founder of the education centre where Thơm worked. “His family situation is very difficult. This loss is big for his family as Thơm was very obedient and grateful to his parents. He always behaved wholeheartedly so we loved him very much. We voluntary assisted his family.”
The HCM City International Marathon this year attracted more than 9,000 runners from 50 countries and territories to compete in a wide range of distances including a full marathon (42km), half marathon (21km), 10km, 5km and a kids’ dash.
According to Nguyễn Văn Lai, a national athletics team member, both professional and amateur athletes should prepare carefully for marathons. As the event is quite strenuous, athletes must train hard with a coach and be familiar with nutrition and sports medicine. They must also be aware of any potential health issues before taking part in sporting events. — VNS