STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA, PARIS
Saturday, Sep 27, 2008, Page 20
Taiwanese record-holding ultramarathon runner Chiu Shu-jung (邱淑容), who was in critical condition early this month after undergoing a double amputation in southern France, was scheduled to leave Europe yesterday to return to Taiwan.
Chiu’s left leg and right foot were amputated on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 after blisters on her left foot became infected. She was treated at a hospital in Montpellier, southern France.
Chiu, 51, was to be escorted by a French medical team on an International SOS chartered aircraft from the Montpellier airport to Amsterdam, where a Taiwanese medical team was to take over.
She is scheduled to arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport tomorrow.
Chiu had contracted a serious bacterial infection from broken blisters on the soles of her feet while competing in a 1,150km ultramarathon across France last month.
The amputations, carried out on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, took away her left leg and right foot. The French surgeons also removed most of the flesh from the remaining leg to prevent the infection from spreading.
Chiu broke the Asian record held by Japanese runner Hiroko Okiyama in an ultramarathon in Greece in March this year. Chiu came second, running 785km in seven days, beating Okiyama’s 752km.
Chiu entered the La Transe Gaule ultramarathon on Aug. 13, which required her to run from Roscoff, a small fishing village in northwestern France, to Gruissan-Plage in the south, in 18 days.
She suffered broken blisters on the 16th day, but insisted on completing the race. She placed 17th, completing the run in 125 hours, 7 minutes and 24 seconds.