Southland race walker Lesley Cantwell collapsed on her way to the medal ceremony where she was to collect gold for winning the Oceania 5000m race walking championships which took place in Tahiti on Tuesday.
She was rushed to hospital where she remained in a coma, following a suspected subarachnoid haemorrhage.
It is unknown at this stage what the cause of her death was, this will e co firmed by an autopsy. It is also unclear if her sudden collapse has a connection with her race earlier in the day.
Cantwell was a member of the Fiordland Athletics club and was one of new Zealand’s top race walkers.
Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.