Sunday 22 October 2017

Paralympic athlete dies after being 'struck by a metal pole' in training ground accident in London

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 31: Abdullah Hayayei of UAE competes in the men's discus F34 final during the Evening Session on Day Ten of the IPC Athletics World Championships at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium on October 31, 2015 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 31: Abdullah Hayayei of UAE competes in the men's discus F34 final during the Evening Session on Day Ten of the IPC Athletics World Championships at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium on October 31, 2015 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Press Association

Para athlete Abdullah Hayayei has died after being "struck by a metal pole" during a training incident on Tuesday in London ahead of the upcoming World Para Athletics Championships.

The 36-year-old, who represented the United Arab Emirates in the F34 class javelin and shot put at Rio 2016, was training at Newham Leisure Centre in preparation for the championships, which begin on Friday at the London Stadium.

The Metropolitan Police said: "Police, London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance were called shortly after 17:00hrs on Tuesday, 11 July, to reports of a seriously injured man at Newham Leisure Centre in Prince Regent Lane, E13. The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 17:20hrs.

"At this early stage, it is believed the man was struck by a metal pole which formed part of training facilities at the centre.

"It can be confirmed that the man was a competitor at the World Para Athletic Championships being held in London. His next of kin have been informed. The Health and Safety Executive have been informed."

London 2017 would have been Hayayei's second World Championships and he was due to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin F34 events.

At the 2015 championships in Doha, Qatar, Hayayei came fifth in the discus and finished eighth in shot put.

An International Paralympic Committee (IPC) statement said: "The athlete's family who are in the UAE have been informed of his death and the UAE team were brought together at the team hotel to be informed of the tragic news."

IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: "We are all truly devastated by this tragic news and the passing of Abdullah.

"The thoughts, prayers and condolences of the whole Paralympic movement are with Abdullah's family, friends and team-mates as well as the whole of the National Paralympic Committee of the UAE. We are all in a state of shock at this terrible tragedy."

A moment of silence will be held to remember Hayayei during Friday's opening ceremony.

Ed Warner, co-chair of London 2017, added: "This is a devastating event and everyone within the London 2017 organising committee is shocked and saddened.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Abdullah's family and team-mates at what is undoubtedly a very difficult time for them. We will be working closely with all the competitors and teams over the days ahead to offer support wherever it is needed."

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport