London: UAE’s Paralympic javelin star, Abdullah Hayayei, died after he had struck a metal pole while training on the ground. He was preparing for next week’s World Championship, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has said.
The 36-year-old was training at Newham Leisure Centre in East London on Tuesday night with his teammates when the accident happened. Hayayei was to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin in the tournament which is starting on Friday, reports Daily Mail.
The sportsman was reported seriously injured at 5 pm to the Emergency services. But he was pronounced dead at 5.20 pm. His family and teammates have been informed, police said.
Philip Craven, IPC President, 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 teammates as well as the whole of the National Paralympic Committee of the UAE. We are all in the state of shock at this terrible tragedy.”
Hayayei had made his debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He finished sixth in the javelin F34 and seventh in the shot put F34, in September 2016.
London 2017 was to be Hayayei’s second World Championship. At the 2015 event in Doha, Qatar, he finished fifth in the discus F34 and eighth in the shot put F34. He was set to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin F34 events.
A moment of silence will be held during Friday’s Opening Ceremony at the London Stadium in honour of his death.
Ed Warner, Co-chair of London 2017, said: “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 teammates at what is undoubtedly a very difficult time for them.”