Body of fallen triathlete returns home to Laguna
COBRA IRONMAN 70.3
THE remains of 46-year-old triathlete, Eric Nadal Mediavillo, who died last Sunday during the swim portion of Cobra IronMan 70.3 Philippines, was sent back to his hometown in San Pedro Laguna last night accompanied by his grieving wife who traveled with him to Cebu to watch him compete.
As a way to extend their sympathy, organizers of the international race paid for his casket and shouldered expenses for the flight which was scheduled to leave Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) at 10 p.m., Monday.
Princess Galura, general manager of Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI), the organizing team behind the triathlon, said that they also took care of Mediavillo’s medical bills at Mactan Doctors Hospital where he was rushed last Sunday but was declared dead on arrival.
“We should be there to assist them whenever there is something happening and we want to set this straight that it was not the race that was responsible for his death. He did not die with us during the race; he was rescued because he was able to call for help to the marshals manning the swim course, but he did not make it to the hospital,” Galura said.
Medico-legal findings pointed to Myocardial Infarction (MI), commonly known as heart attack, as the cause of the triathlete’s untimely death.
“If there was a problem with the race then maybe a lot did not finish it but more than 2,000 of the 2,762 participants crossed the finish line safe so it’s not the race’s fault why he died,” said Galura.
“The problem was he suffered a heart attack. Technically, he has heart problems so it could happen to him everywhere he would be and not just in the race,” Galura added.
Mediavillo would have competed in the 1.9-kilometer swim, 90k bike and 21k run, but the triathlete suffered a heart attack while doing the swim portion of the race at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu.
He represented Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) Multi-Sports Team.
Galura explained that before a participant could register, they have to make sure that they are physically fit and had undergone a thorough check-up with their doctors.
“Some triathletes do not know that they are not healthy at all. Exercising for them is enough without even seeking a physician’s help about their condition that’s why we will always remind them to have regular check-ups with their doctors prior to the race, not just regular check-up but thorough check-up to prevent this kind of incident from happening again,” said Galura.
Upon registration, participants are asked to sign a waiver stating that they will not hold the organizers responsible for things that could happen to a participant during the race considering that a triathlon is an extreme sport.
They are also reminded about the hazards of joining the race.
Now that the Cobra IronMan 70.3 Philippines has claimed its third casualty, Galura and her team said they will impose stricter rules for those who want to join the race.
In 2009, the first staging of the race in Camarines Sur was marred by the death of participant, Juan Miguel Vazquez, who suffered a stroke on the swim portion.
In 2012, Cebuano participant Ramon Igaña Jr. died from acute pulmonary embolism while traversing the 90k bike route at Cebu’s South Road Properties (SRP).
The IronMan 70.3 race registration usually takes place nine months before race day so that triathletes will have time to make a final decision whether or not to push through with joining the grueling race.
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