A 30-year old British* age group athlete died in a Frankfurt hospital several days after he collapsed at the finish of the 2015 Ironman European Championships on a very hot day, report various newspapers in Germany.
Swelling of the brain is the cause of death said Professor Leo Latasch, head of the medical emergency team of the Gesundheitsamt in Frankfurt, and it was likely caused by insufficient salt intake while racing in unusually hot conditions.
According to Professor Latasch, the athlete drank mostly water during the race and did not take in enough minerals. The human body requires extra salt and minerals when working hard in very hot conditions.
"It is tragic, but it is a fact that the organizer supplied plenty of salt and beverages with minerals at the aid stations," said Latasch.
When the athlete collapsed at the finish line he was taken to an intensive care tent that was set up at the race venue, but soon after he was transported to a hospital for an emergency operation. Sadly the condition of the athlete continued to worsen until he died.
"We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of one of our athletes following the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany. The athlete required medical attention after finishing Sunday's race and was transported to a nearby hospital where he was treated. Our condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to support. We are working with the local authorities to gather all the details on how this incident occurred and will continue to do everything possible to provide a safe environment for our athletes," said a statement from Ironman Europe.
Sources for this story were the Frankfurter Neue Presse and T-Online.
* Correction (July 9, 6:30am MET): All news sources initially reported incorrectly that the athlete in question was a 40-year old Australian. The newest update in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung corrects that the man was 30-years old and from Great Britain.
Image above is a file photo from the race and not directly related to the story.