Wales

Swansea Half Marathon death: Uni student runner 'inspired so many'

Wil Sern Ong during the Swansea Half Marathon 2019 Image copyright Marathon Photos/Front Runner Events
Image caption Wil Sern Ong collapsed metres from the finish line of Sunday's race

The family of a university student who died after the Swansea Half Marathon said he "impacted and inspired so many".

Wil Sern Ong, 21, collapsed metres from the finish line at about 13:20 BST on Sunday and later died in hospital.

Mr Ong was from Malaysia and studying environmental engineering at the city's university.

His family said: "We are so heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Wil Sern Ong."

They added: "No words could express how sad and painful it is for the family and all those who knew him.

"Wil Sern was a rare gem to find, well versed in God's word, spiritually matured beyond his years, so full of life, well mannered, helpful and kind.

"In the short span of nearly 21 years, he had impacted and inspired so many."

His brother said he "loved life, the challenge it posed and the excitement of new adventure, learning and experiences" and his aunt said the last few days had "been a whirlwind of emotions".

About 10,000 people were expected to take part in the 13.1-mile (21km) race which began outside Brangwyn Hall and ran alongside Swansea Bay.

David Martin-Jewell, from Front Runner Events, said Sunday's race was the second time Mr Org had taken part in the event.

He said: "Everyone associated and involved with the Swansea Half has been devastated by this tragic loss of life following the event."

Friends of Mr Ong have set up a JustGiving page to assist the family while they are in the UK.

A spokeswoman for Swansea University said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Wilsern's death.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this time and we extend our deepest condolences to them."

Mr Ong was a sergeant at 12th Kuala Lumpur Boys' Brigade in Malaysia before leaving to study in Swansea.

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