SEA Games: S'pore Triathlete Lin warded after collapse near finish

She was only 500m from clinching a bronze medal in the women's triathlon, the first event on the first official day of competition at the SEA Games yesterday.

However, Singapore triathlete Lin Zhiyun succumbed to heat exhaustion, collapsed and had to be stretchered away in a dramatic end to her race at East Coast Park.

The 28-year-old had jumped from fifth to third in the final 10km run segment. But instead of crossing the finishing line in a blaze of glory, she was rushed to hospital for treatment instead.

According to an official statement from the Singapore National Olympic Council, Lin is in a stable condition.

"Subject to further medical review by her specialists, she is expected to be discharged soon," it read.

The other Singapore representative, Winona Howe, also failed to finish her race. The 20-year-old fell off her bike and scraped her knee, and lost precious time. She was then lapped by the race leader, the Philippines' Maria Claire Adorna, and subsequently eliminated from the race.

The bronze eventually went to Thailand's Sanruthai Arunsiri, who clocked 2hr 22min 8sec in the wilting 31 deg C heat.

In fact, only four of the seven triathletes managed to finish the race, which saw a 1-2 finish by the fancied Filipinas.

Hot favourite Adorna won in 2:13:08, the 21-year-old pipping her compatriot Marion Kim Mangrobang, who came in just over a minute later in 2:14:26.

Mangrobang also felt ill after crossing the finish line, and had to be helped up and pushed in a wheelchair to the medical area.

As for Adorna, the former swimmer emerged first out of the water after the 1.5km swim, and was ahead of Mangrobang by more than four minutes in the 40km bike segment.

"I'm very emotional right now. All the training, hardships and sacrifices I had to go through were worth it," said Adorna, who clinched her country's first triathlon gold.

Mangrobang's silver proved to be the icing on the cake, and she said: "We're very happy to have met our goal of coming in first and second, and for winning the first gold medal for our country."

They revealed that they had tried to prepare their bodies for the heat by having sauna sessions.

Said Adorna: "I try not to drink water during races as it makes me heavier, but the weather was so hot today I drank water at all eight stations."

The Philippines will try to go for another gold in the men's race today, with Jonard Saim and Nikko Huelgas having come in 10th and 11th respectively at last year's Asian Games.

This article was first published on June 7, 2015.
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