Swimming coach dies in Ironman Davao triathlon

Mar. 28, 2023
Athlete Jerry Kasim. (Photo from Kasim’s Facebook account)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A participant in Sunday’s Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao triathlon died during the early part of the race, while a young spectator is hospitalized where he remains unconscious as of Monday after colliding with an athlete in the cycling course in Panabo City.

Organizers confirmed the athlete’s death around 6:30 but did not mention his name.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of a race participant at Ironman 70.3 Davao. Our condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to support,” the statement said from the Facebook Page of Alveo IronMan 70.3 Davao. The page removed its comment section for this post.

A report from SunStar Davao revealed the person is Jerry Kasim, a 49-year-old swimming coach, who reportedly succumbed to a heart attack during the swimming course at Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao City.

The organizers said on their post that Kasim “required medical attention during the swim portion of the race and was transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated.”

Some participants of the triathlon later posted on their respective social media accounts that the swim was challenging because they were swimming against the current.

Meanwhile, City Sports Development Division head Mikey Aportadera said that they will look further into the incident.

Aportadera said the initial reports showed that emergency responders were able to reach Kasim and performed resuscitation until they brought him to the nearest hospital.

“Paspas kaayo ang pag-attend sa iyaha sa atoang water assets…daghan kaayo mga coast guard makita ninyo gahapon. Naay lifeguards on the surface, naay divers below. So mao tong naatiman dayon siya and nadala sa hospital,” he said.

(He was attended right away by divers… there were plenty of coast guards which you saw on that day. Lifeguards on the surface and divers below. So he was attended to right away and brought to the hospital)

The City Government of Davao also attended to a young man who remains in critical condition in a hospital after colliding with a participant in Panabo City.

Gerard Tayag, 18 years old, a resident of Barangay San Vicente, Panabo, went to the race track along Barangay Sto. Niño to pick up a water bottle thrown by an athlete, but collided with another athlete, David Smith.

Media reports quoted the mother of Tayag who said they were told by doctors that Gerard fractured his skull, and suffered internal bleeding in his head.

The Alveo IronMan organizers have not contacted the family of Tayag, nor did they release a statement regarding this accident.

The City Government of Davao is said to have extended assistance to the family of Tayag.

Relatives also appealed to the public to stop bashing Tayag for his actions as he is said to be undergoing an operation.

Aportadera said fatalities and injuries in extreme sports such as Sunday’s triathlon are unavoidable, despite preparations on the part of the organizers.

The Davao City Information Office said they had deployed 398 emergency medical responders for the triathlon event, including respondents from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

Around 1,700 people from 49 countries competed in Sunday’s race. (davaotoday.com)

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