A shepherd has been hailed as a hero in China after it emerged that he saved six stricken runners throughout an ultramarathon through which 21 different rivals died.
Zhu Keming was trending on the Twitter-like Weibo on Tuesday, three days after a 100-kilometre (60-mile) cross-country mountain race within the northwestern province of Gansu turned lethal in freezing rain, excessive winds and hail.
The incident triggered outrage and mourning in China, as questions swirled over why organisers apparently ignored warnings in regards to the incoming excessive climate.
Zhu was grazing his sheep on Saturday round lunchtime when the wind picked up, the rain got here down and temperatures plunged, he advised state media.
He sought refuge in a cave the place he had saved garments and meals for emergencies however whereas inside noticed one of many race’s 172 rivals and checked to see what was unsuitable as a result of he was standing nonetheless, apparently struggling cramps.
Zhu escorted the person again to the cave, massaged his freezing fingers and ft, lit a fireplace and dried his garments.
Four extra distressed runners made it into the cave and advised the shepherd others had been marooned outdoors, some unconscious.
Zhu headed outdoors as soon as extra and, braving hail and freezing temperatures, reached a runner mendacity on the bottom. He carried him in direction of the shelter and wrapped him in blankets, nearly actually saving his life.
“I want to say how grateful I am to the man who saved me,” the runner, Zhang Xiaotao, wrote on Weibo.
“Without him, I would have been left out there.”
Zhu has been feted in China for his selfless actions, however the shepherd advised state media that he’s “just an ordinary person who did a very ordinary thing”.
Zhu rescued three males and three ladies, however regrets that he was unable to do extra to assist others who reportedly succumbed to hypothermia.
“There were still some people that could not be saved,” he stated.
“There had been two males who had been lifeless and I could not do something for them.
The tragedy has thrown a renewed highlight on the booming marathon and working trade in China, with authorities ordering sports activities competitions to enhance security.
According to The Paper in Shanghai, 5 cross-country, marathon or different working races have been cancelled at quick discover.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)