Two athletes died suddenly on Sunday while competing in the Ironman competition in Ireland during the swimming section of the rigorous triathlon-style race.
The event took place in Youghal, Cork County on Sunday, with one of the men aged in his 40s and the other in his 60s.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of two race participants at the IRONMAN 70.3 Ireland, Cork 2023,” Ironman Ireland said in a statement.
“During the swim portion of Sunday’s race, safety personnel provided immediate medical attention upon recognising the athletes were in need of assistance.”
“We share our greatest sympathies with the families and friends of the athletes and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time.”
“We thank the safety personnel and first responders who worked quickly to provide the athletes with medical assistance.”
The Cork County Council also released its statement:
“Cork County Council is deeply saddened over the tragic loss of two race participants during the IRONMAN 70.3 Ireland, Cork 2023 event in Youghal today. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the athletes at this incredibly difficult time.”
“Our thoughts are with those who have been affected, and we are currently offering every assistance required to the IRONMAN GROUP and all those impacted. We wish to express our gratitude to the response agencies involved, including our dedicated Fire and Emergency personnel.”
Our thoughts are with those who have been affected, and we are currently offering every assistance required to the IRONMAN GROUP and all those impacted. We wish to express our gratitude to the response agencies involved, including our dedicated Fire and Emergency personnel. pic.twitter.com/DFZ7JUCJDR
— Cork County Council (@Corkcoco) August 20, 2023
The cause of death is still unknown at this time, but the media are blaming the death due to bad water conditions.
According to the Independent, the athletes died during the swimming leg of the race held in Youghal, Cork County – a course that had been altered by organizers earlier in the day due to bad water conditions.
The men were pulled from the water by emergency services and were later pronounced dead by medical staff, confirmed by Gardaí.
Earlier on the day of the event, the competition’s page had announced changes to the swim course, stating the intention of “delivering the safest possible swim” for the participants.
“UPDATED SWIM COURSE DISTANCE. Due to the current conditions of the water at the swim start, the swim course for both IRONMAN 70.3 Ireland, Cork and the full distance IRONMAN Ireland, Cork will now be 1.9km. This means that we can focus all of our swim safety crew on delivering the safest possible swim for all of our athletes,” the announcement read.