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Olympic triathlon hopeful killed by car
By Chen Xiangfeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-17 07:09

A triathlete on China's women's national team was killed on Thursday when she was hit by a car during a training session in Yunnan Province, Southwest China.

Eight teammates were injured in the accident.

Chen Lihong, from Fujian Province, was training with her teammates on a highway near Kunming, the provincial capital, when a car ploughed into the group. Chen died shortly after being rushed to hospital.

Officials from the General Administration of Sport on Friday paid tribute to Chen, and promised to launch a safety check over sports training camps.

"We are very sad about the death of one of our country's elite athletes," said Zhang Haifeng, spokesman for the administration.

Five of Chen's teammates are still recovering in hospital, said Zhang, and the rest have been discharged with minor injuries.

The training programme of the 24-member national triathlon team was aiming to select the best athletes to compete in the Doha 2006 Asian Games and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Chen was ranked eighth in China's women's national team, 20th in Asia and 170th in the world rankings.

Zhang said the sport administration had asked for a full investigation on the safety conditions of different national teams, which are currently in their winter training camps.

The administration held an emergency meeting about athlete safety on Friday morning, Zhang said.

"We should not only pay close attention to their physical conditions, but also accommodation, security, food and other training conditions."

An elite mountain bike rider was killed during an outdoor training on October 28, 1998.

Wang Zexiu, of the women's national cycling team, was hit by a bus at a turn on a road near Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. Wang was considered a gold medal favourite for the 1998 Asian Games.

On July 19, 29-year-old Amy Gillett, one of Australia's most promising athletes, was killed and five of her teammates injured when a car ploughed into the team during a training ride in Germany.

(China Daily 12/17/2005 page1)

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