Ex-soldier in China lauded for catching woman collapsing just before half marathon finish line
It was a dash to glory for runners at a half marathon in eastern China.
But for one security guard there, it was a sprint to save an unwell contestant who was collapsing to the ground just before she finished the race.
The runner was making her last push in the 21km half marathon in Shandong province’s Yucheng county on Sept 24 when she was suddenly hit by a seizure just metres away from the finish line.
In videos taken by spectators which have gone viral, a security guard is seen rushing across the finish line towards the woman as she uncontrollably steps backwards with her arms stretched out on her sides.
Another security guard is seen jumping over a crowd control barricade to reach the woman who is losing her balance.
The first guard manages to catch her in his arms before she falls to the ground. He almost loses his balance but manages to steady himself with one hand pressing onto the ground.
Medics arrive to assist the woman and takes her away in an ambulance.
The organiser later said the runner had a seizure because she over-exerted herself when she tried to make a final sprint as she neared the finish line. It added that she was able to walk normally after a short rest.
Praises poured in for the first guard to reach the woman for protecting her from getting hurt. He later identified himself as a retired soldier.
“The way he steadies his body with just one hand on the ground is so cool,” one netizen wrote on Weibo, and suggested that US Marvel comic superheroes paled by comparison. “This is a real man.”
Another said: “Everyone was so full of love. They noticed the woman’s condition immediately.”
The woman, who goes by the user name “the little sister who loves to run” on Douyin, on Monday thanked the two guards who came to her aid immediately.
She also had some advice for marathoners.
“I hope that the many runners out there don’t learn from me. If you are not feeling well, do stop to take a rest before you run again,” said the woman.