Triathlete knocked out of Ironman 70.3 Taiwan race by scooter

Stray scooter knocks triathlete out of Ironman 70.3 Taiwan race

Photo from Sam Hsieh Facebook page.

Photo from Sam Hsieh Facebook page.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- One of Taiwan's top triathletes was knocked out of contention Sunday (March 24) at an international triathlon in eastern Taiwan after he collided with a scooter which had wandered onto the course.

During the cycling leg of the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Taiwan on Sunday, a white scooter suddenly burst onto the course and collided with Taiwanese triathlete Sam Hsieh (謝昇諺). Sam was temporarily knocked unconscious and his bike suffered damage which prevented him from finishing the race.

While cycling on the Provincial Highway No. 11 near Jhihben Bridge, Hsieh on a Facebook post reported seeing a white scooter driven by woman suddenly swerve in front of him in the right lane of the course. Given no time or space to avoid a collision, Hsieh wrote, "all I could do was scream and hold onto the handlebar."

The older woman slammed on the brakes in front of Hsieh, who had no choice but to collide into her. Hsieh reported that he then went unconscious for a brief period, before a staff member came to his side and he then finally opened his eyes.

Hsieh running with his bike. (Photo from Sam Hsieh Facebook page)

Hsieh said that he dare not move at first because he felt a sharp pain in his left leg and was afraid it was broken. Fortunately, an examination by an official found that he had not suffered any serious injuries.

Hsieh said that the woman who had collided with him appeared shaken and was complaining of discomfort in her heart. Hsieh went to comfort the woman and assured her that he was unhurt.

After guiding the woman on slowing her breathing to calm down and leaving his contact information with a police officer, Hsieh attempted to get back into the race. After inspecting the damage to his bike, Hsieh told a race official that he felt it was still ridable and tried to continue the race.

However, after riding for about 50 meters, he found that the handlebar was crooked. He borrowed a wrench from a staff member and adjusted the handlebar, but he found that whenever he braked it would shake violently.

Minor scrapes Hsieh suffered. ( Photo from Sam Hsieh Facebook page)

When he inspected the handlebar again, he realized that it was badly cracked from the initial impact. Hsieh assessed that the damage to his bike was too severe and decided to withdraw from the race.

In his Facebook post, Hsieh thanked "Amitabha Buddha for blessing him," as he had only suffered a few minor scrapes and bruises from the collision. He thanked the race staff members for quickly helping him and vowed to compete in the race again next year.

In an interview with CNA, Taiwan Triathlon General Manager Cheng Shih-chi (鄭世奇) said that the participants were all covered by insurance. Cheng said that the parties involved in the crash had reconciled.

Cheng claimed that the entire route of the race had been closed and subject to traffic controls and staff had been patrolling it to keep vehicles out. Cheng pledged to implement more strict planning in the future and hopes that the public can better cooperate with traffic controls.