S. Sudan Student Dies In Mbarara Marathon

A south Sudanese student collapsed and died in Mbarara during the 10km western region marathon on Saturday.

Bilpam Makar Riak, a senior six student of Sentah College International in Mbarara town, was among the people who had voluntarily turned up to participate in the Save Mama Mbarara Marathon 2013.

The event, organized and sponsored by Jomayi Property Consultants, was aimed at raising 40 million shillings to purchase over 2000 mosquito nets for children and expectant mothers to fight malaria.

Save Mama Mbarara marathon, the first of its kind, attracted students from various institutions of learning and other people.

The Rwizi regional police Commander Martin Abilu says police is investigating the matter adding that the organizers will be charged with criminal negligence of duty, once it is established that the medical examination for physical fitness was not carried out before enlisting students into the marathon.

The cousin brother of the deceased, Salva Mathok, says Riak has not been having any record of illness and was only trying for the first time to develop his sports career like any other normal person.

Some of the participants in the marathon say they saw Riak collapse near Rwebikona market along the Mbarara -Bushenyi road and moments later a Red Cross ambulance that was behind them picked and rushed him to Mbarara regional referral Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

But a medical source at the Hospital indicates that Riak suffered from myocardial infarction, a condition where heart tissue is destroyed as a result of obstruction of the blood supply to the heart muscle. The source said this caused blood clot in the vessels that supplies blood to the heart. More blood clots were also reported to have been found in the lungs.

Bilpam Makar Riak, a son of Makuru Riak of Rumbek Lake State headquarters in Southern Sudan, was a treasurer of South Sudan students union in Western Uganda.

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