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Sports day tragic for Urasoe teen

Date Posted: 2004-10-07

Autumn is sports festival season in Okinawa schools.

Every school, from elementary through high school, stages the day-long event which attracts entire families with picnic baskets and blankets. The close knit Okinawa families enjoy watching their youngsters complete in everything from races to relays to tug of war events.

Urasoe’s weekend festival began as with many others, but ended tragically when an 18-year-old only months away from graduation collapsed and died.

The unidentified boy had been participating in the 100 meter run, competing against classmates. Following the race he joined his friends, then keeled over and passed out. A few moments later he was awake again, saying “I’m all right.”

When he tried to stand, though, he couldn’t, and fell down backwards. He went unconscious and never was revived. The youth was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. An autopsy is being conducted to determine cause of death.

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