Cozumel, Q.R. — Brazilian Ironman participant, Paulo Pereyra, died during the swimming competition after suffering a cardiac arrest in Cozumel.
The accident happened Sunday during the swimming phase of the event. Pereyra was about 150 meters into his swim when participants saw him suddenly sink. He was pulled from the water and rushed to hospital where he later died.
Mauricio Zavala, national president of the competition, confirmed the death.
“We join the grief of the athlete’s family and friends and will continue to offer them support in these difficult times. The well-being of our athletes is always a priority, so we continue to work together with authorities to provide a safe environment for all competitors. In regards to the athlete’s family and privacy, we will not have any more comments for the moment,” said Ironman organizers in a statement.
Pedro Joaquín Delbouis, the mayor of Cozumel, also offered his condolences. “I want to offer my deepest condolences to the triathlete’s family that for health reasons, one participant ended up losing his life during the event. We are here to support you in whatever you need, ” he said in a statement.
This year, the annual Ironman event, which is held on the island of Cozumel, attracted more than 2,200 participants from 54 countries.
Paulo Pereyra was competitor #131 for the 2019 Cozumel Ironman competition.