Two men died who participated in 17th Great Ethiopian Run that took place on Sunday. The cause of their death is yet to be known.
When two men collapsed in the middle of the 10km road race they were taken to Zewditu Hospital but died before they got medical assistance, according to the hospital's doctor. We were shocked when we received two men from the ambulance wearing sports jersey who were taking part in the great run. When we examine them they were not alive. That was very sad, medical doctor of Zewditu Hospital said. It was a tragedy, she added.
The hospital didn't give the cause of their death. The doctor rather advised the organizers to take medical test before this kind of mass race takes place.
When she was asked about the cause of their death the doctor replied that it could be heart case or other diseases that led them to death. "It is difficult to speculate but posthumous examination will reveal the cause of their death," the doctor said.
The event organizer, Haile Gebreselassie said that this kind of incident has never happened in the last 16 years. "We were all caught by surprise when we heard the news about the collapse of two people and their eventual death. It is indeed very sad. All the good picture of the race turned gloomy by the sudden and unexpected death of two men. We share the pain that the families of the two dead men feel," Haile said.
When Haile was asked about the incident, he said that in marathon and half marathon rarely death occurs. "Participants get collapsed in the middle of marathon or half marathon. I have never heard death taking place in 10km race. Relatively 10km is by far shorter than marathon. We understand when amateur marathon runners collapse at the end. It is not easy to run 42km and 195 metres in one stroke. Very, very tiresome," Haile said.
"We didn't expect an incident of this kind to happen. In all our previous 16 years experience we have never faced grave accidents like this. Some people get collapsed but after taking some medical help they got awakened and go home walking even without human assistance," Haile remarked.
The money prize for this season went high up to 100, 000 birr for the winners both in men's and women's events. The second and third place winners pocketed 30 and 12 thousand birr, respectively. It is clear that the difference in award between the winners and the second and third places was wide. The organizers said that this was the first time the Great Ethiopian run to award such huge sum in the event's 17-year history.
The race also brought 500 foreign athletes but the top three places both in women's and men's events are fully dominated by the Ethiopians in elite race.
Accordingly Solomon Barga came out first to collect 100, 000 birr. Moges Tiumay finished second while Dawit Befekadu won the third place.
In the women's event Zeineba Yimer emerged first leaving behind Girmawit Gebreigziabher and Foten Tesfaye to take the second and third places, in the order of that.
The Addis Ababa Police said that the race that put together 44 thousand people came to a conclusion peacefully.