Police officers in Port Elizabeth have successfully identified the two athletes who died after participating in 2019 Standard Bank Ironman African Championship at the weekend.
62-year-old Leon Stanvliet from George and 57-year-old Andre Trichardt from Durban passed away in a hospital several hours after they suffered ailment during the swimming part of the challenge.
According to Colonel Priscilla Naidu, the exact cause of their death is yet to be determined and post mortems will be conducted soon. Meanwhile, the police opened inquest dockets.
The two elderly sportsmen took part in the Ironman Championship on Sunday and attempted to swim 1.6 kilometres, while the water temperature was about 18.5 degrees Celsius. Later, one of them was transferred to hospital after reportedly suffering a heart attack.
“It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of two race participants at the IRONMAN African Championship.
Both athletes required medical attention during the swim portion of Sunday’s race and were transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated,” the released Ironman South Africa statement read.
Before the event started, the organisers decided to reduce the distance down from normal 3.8 kilometres after extremely choppy sea.