Marathon can be lethal for runners

&to=http:// ' target=_blank>marathon, state media reported today.

Liu Hongbin, 20, a student at Beijing Jiaotong University, and Hu, an unidentified retiree, collapsed during the marathon and died in hospital yesterday, Xinhua news agency said.

Liu collapsed 17 kilometres into the race, and was taken to Haidian Hospital where he was pronounced dead after an emergency treatment, informs New Kerala.

According to the Channel News Asia, "This is the first time (runners have died) in the 24-year history of the Beijing marathon," said a spokeswoman at organizer China Athletics Association who declined to give her name.

"Every year we adopt measures to prevent this kind of thing but unexpected things do happen during sports activities."

The Chinese capital is preparing for the 2008 Summer &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Olympics and is increasingly anxious to have international sports event go ahead without glitches.

The weather was mild at the time but Xinhua suggested there may have been a &to=http:// ' target=_blank>lack of water. "Amateur participants complained that no drinking water was available along the course after 25 kilometers," it said.

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