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Marathoner's death due to hidden heart problems

Sunday, Nov 11, 2012
The New Paper
By Shaffiq Alkhatib

SINGAPORE - His friends called him "man of steel".

Mr Malcolm Sng Wei Ren, 22, completed a gruelling half-marathon on Dec 4 last year.

It took him 1 hour 53 minutes to complete the 21.1km race in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) organised by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC).

But tragedy struck not long after Mr Sng crossed the finish line.

The first-year business administration student at Singapore Management University was spotted lying face down at around 9am.

He was unconscious when he was rushed to the Singapore General Hospital, and was pronounced dead at 9.30am.

A coroner's inquiry into his death revealed on Thursday that he had an "anomalous right coronary artery" which is an "infrequent congenital anomaly of the coronaries".

Dr Hsu Li Fern, a consultant cardiologist at Novena Heart Centre who is not involved in the case, told The New Paper this meant that Mr Sng's right artery came out in a different position from normal, taking a more tortuous route to supply the heart with blood.

He added that during physical exertion, the heart pumps hard and fast and this could cause the artery to kink, leading to a blockage.

The term "congenital abnormality" means he was born with this condition, said Dr Hsu.

Other deaths at running events

Click on thumbnail to view. Story continues after photos.
(Photos: TNP, ST, Internet, BH, Ismail Adan, Lianhe Wanbao, Nike, Shin Min)

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