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Pregnant former Olympian runner dies in Conn.; baby saved

HAMDEN, Conn. — A former Olympic and professional runner from Ethiopia who was more than eight months pregnant has died after collapsing at a Connecticut restaurant, but doctors were able to save her baby.

Friends say 26-year-old Meskerem Legesse of Westport, Conn., was with her 2-year-old son when she collapsed in Hamden Monday. Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca says CPR efforts in the restaurant and ambulance allowed doctors to save the baby.

A friend, Fatima Sene, says the children are with their father and arrangements are being made to bring Legesse’s body to Ethiopia. Legesse’s death was first reported by WFSB-TV.

The cause of death isn’t clear. Sene said Legesse had heart problems.

Legesse ran the 1,500 meter race for Ethiopia in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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