5 Jun 2013

NZ athlete on life support in Tahiti

5:59 pm on 5 June 2013

The New Zealand athlete Lesley Cantwell is on life support in a Tahiti hospital after collapsing at the the Oceania track and field champs in Tahiti on Tuesday.

Radio New Zealand Sport understands the 26-year-old suffered a brain hemorrhage and collapsed after winning the 5000 metres walk.

In a show of support for their team-mate, the other 50 athletes in the New Zealand team have decided to continue in the championships, which finish on Thursday, and they'll wear armbands and will be competing with Lesley's number written on their arms.

Cantwell's parents are heading to Papeete.

Her mother Jude was the national 1500 metres champion in 1989, while her father Shaun is the deputy principal at Fiordland College and a leading athletics coach.