JERUSALEM, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- About 2,200 athletes from 55 countries and regions competed in two ironman triathlon races, both held on Friday inside and around the Sea of Galilee lake in northeastern Israel.
The event included the Ironman Israel Middle East Championship, consisting of a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and a full Marathon 42.2 km run.
German Patrick Lange won the men's event in 7 hours and 42 minutes, while Britain's Ruth Astle claimed victory in the women's in 8:41:13.
The Ironman 70.3 (miles) Tiberias competition for the half distances was also held. Luke Mathews, who represented the United Arab Emirates, pocketed the men's gold in 4:21:02, and Kristina Kochetkova of Russia titled the women's in 4:37:12.
The races in Israel offered 75 qualifying slots to the 2023 Ironman World Championship to be held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and 45 slots to the 2023 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, scheduled for August in Lahti, Finland.
Unfortunately, a 59-year-old Israeli participant collapsed during the swimming competition and later died at Poriya Hospital in Tiberias.
The hospital said in a statement that the athlete reportedly had a heart attack during the swimming leg.