translated by Brett Larner
City officials have announced that a 7th grade girl, aged 13, who collapsed and lost consciousness Aug. 5 while at track team practice at Kowa Civic J.H.S. in Okayama passed away on Aug. 9. The cause of death remains unknown.
According to officials, the girl was a sprinter. At 11:10 a.m. on Aug. 5 immediately after the end of baton pass practice the girl collapsed onto the track and went into spasms. She was rushed to a hospital, but despite treatment did not regain consciousness and died at 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 9. The Aug. 5 practice began at 8:40 a.m and took place under sunny skies. The temperature in the area at 11:00 a.m. is officially recorded as having been 31.4 degrees. The girl was not known to have had any chronic illnesses and, up to the point that she collapsed, had seemed no different from usual throughout the practice.
An official from the city educational committee's sports department commented, "We are looking at whether this may have been a case of hyperthermia and heat stroke. At the present time we do not know." Prior to the girl's collapse the team had taken four water breaks during the practice session. The official stated, "There was no problem with the practice itself, but we need to take this opportunity to make sure that all of our school clubs are taking the proper measures to protect the health of our children in order to prevent further incidents like this one."