Para athlete dies during practice session ahead of worlds
LONDON (AP) — The International Paralympic Committee says an athlete died Tuesday after being injured during a practice session in London, where the World Para Athletics Championships start this week.
The IPC gave no details of the cause of death of the 36-year-old Abdullah Hayayei, a thrower from the United Arab Emirates who was entered in the shot put, discus and javelin throw events in the F34 class.
In a statement, the IPC said “emergency services were called shortly after 17:00 to reports of a seriously injured man. At 17:20 the athlete was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Police, London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended the scene at the Newham Leisure Centre.
The IPC said the athlete’s family in the UAE had been informed of his death.
Hayayei made his Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, finishing sixth in the javelin and seventh in shot put in the F34, a category for seated throws for athletes with impairments typical of conditions such as cerebral palsy or traumatic brain injury.
“We are all truly devastated by this tragic news and the passing of Abdullah,” IPC President Philip Craven said in a statement. “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 state of shock at this terrible tragedy.”
Local organizers planned to hold a moment of silence in honor of Hayayei during the opening ceremony on Friday at London Stadium.