Runner, 22, dies after marathon

PHOTO: Runner, 22, dies after marathon

SINGAPORE - He was a seasoned runner who used to train every night while doing his national service as a reconnaissance commander.

But around 8.30am yesterday, Mr Malcom Sng (pictured, right), 22, collapsed at the finish line of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore at the Padang.

The organisers said he was immediately attended to and taken to the Singapore General Hospital, where he died an hour later.

Mr Sng's buddies who spoke to The New Paper said they were "shocked" that he had died after completing the half-marathon.

Said student Kenrick Lim, 22, who served with him in the same unit during national service: "Malcom was one of the fitter guys in our unit and would go running every night."

Mr Lim said that Mr Sng, a distinguished honour graduate of the Singapore Armed Forces Specialist Cadet School, was known for his leadership qualities.

He added that Mr Sng was liked and respected by fellow commanders and men at the 4th Battalion Infantry Regiment, where he was a platoon sergeant.

Said Mr Lim: "He had good leadership qualities and was even selected to go for the Jungle Confidence Course in Brunei.

"And if I recall correctly, he won the best specialist award for the company and battalion during his national service.

"We're all shocked that Malcom died. He was so fit."

Mr Sng, who was studying business management at the Singapore Management University (SMU), was competing in the half-marathon category that started at the Sentosa Gateway at 6.30am.

Participant tracking statistics available online showed that he finished the 21km race at 8.25am with a time of 1hr 53min.

Mr Sng's Facebook wall was flooded with comments from his friends, current and former schoolmates and national service buddies.

Jovial and friendly

Jovial and friendly

They painted a picture of a jovial and friendly person.

When he was studying at St Andrew's Secondary School,Mr Sng played the clarinet in the school band.

He went on to Nanyang Polytechnic, where he studied biomedical engineering, and did well enough to earn a place in the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at SMU.

The Standard Chartered Marathon is one of Singapore's most popular running events and one of the highlights of the local sports calendar.

A total of 19,700 runners took part in half-marathon yesterday.

Over the years, other Singaporeans have collapsed while in the thick of sporting action.

In 2006, 42-year-old senior engineer Chan Foong You collapsed from a heart attack 10m from the finishing line in a 10km race at the Standard Chartered Marathon.

Mr Chan's heart had stopped but he was rushed to the Singapore General Hospital, where he was treated. He survived.

In 2007, 25-year-old army officer Ho Si Qiu collapsed after completing the 21km-long Singapore Bay Run.

His heart stopped and attempts to revive him with drugs and cardiopulmonary resuscitation failed.

Marathon do's and don'ts

Marathon do's and don'ts

RUNNING a marathon can turn deadly for some. The Straits Times previously reported that heart researchers in the US found that there are four to eight deaths in every million marathon participants.

Another study by researchers in Germany found that running activates both coagulation and platelet activity, resulting in an increased risk of runners having a blood vessel blocked by a blood clot.

Last month, in Philadelphia, US, two runners - one aged 21 and the other, 40 - collapsed at the finish line of the Philadelphia Marathon. They died of apparent heart attacks.

Doctors advise that preparation is vital.

This involves a proper training programme that includes resistance and flexibility training.

Runners must also wear the right shoes and must hydrate and refuel.

Those older than 35 or those with underlying risk factors - such as smokers, diabetics, and people with hypertension or with elevated cholesterol - should go for pre-participation screening. Don't run marathons if you:

  • Have not trained.
  • Experience chest pains/discomfort while doing light exercises.
  • Recently experienced a heart attack.
  • Are a hereditary or stroke-induced heart attack sufferer (especially if you pale when exercising).
  • Have high blood pressure and other heart diseases.
  • Are diabetic, obese or very elderly.

This article was first published in The New Paper.