By Michael Evans.
A student at Shanghai’s Donghua University died Tuesday after completing the school’s mandatory 1000 meter running test, the Shanghai Daily reports.
The student, surnamed Miao, was reported to have died the same day that a runner in Guangzhou passed away after collapsing during the city’s Nov. 18 marathon.
Earlier this month, Wuhan’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology cancelled two long distance races in the school’s university games over concerns that runners might injure themselves.
The China Daily reported that this was not an isolated incident.
Qiao Xiaoshan, a PhD candidate specializing in physical education research from Xidian University in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, said his university has not held long-distance races since 2006.
Qiao said more than 30 universities in Xi’an no longer held long-distance races because of the decline in students physical fitness, leading to concerns the students may suffer injury or even death if they took part in intense physical activity.
From 2002 to 2010 in China, more than 40 participants in long-distance running events aged 16 and over died suddenly, according to Qiao’s research.
Educational authorities have expressed concern over students’ declining physical fitness. On Oct. 29, China’s State Council mandated that primary and middle school students spend at least one hour each day in physical exercise.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education recently announced that it was considering adding a fitness test to the college entrance exam.