UAE Para athlete Abdullah Hayayei died following a training ground incident on Tuesday evening in London, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) informed in a release.
Hayayei, 36, a thrower in the F34 class, was training at Newham Leisure Centre in preparation for the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017, which opens on Friday, when the incident took place.
London’s Metropolitan Police said the athlete was struck by a metal pole.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “At this early stage, it is believed the man was struck by a metal pole which formed part of training facilities at the centre.”
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.”
The IPC said the athlete’s family in the UAE had been informed of his death.
Last September, Hayayei made his Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He finished sixth in the javelin F34 and seventh in shot put F34.
London 2017 was to be Hayayei’s second World Championships. At the 2015 event in Doha, Qatar, he finished fifth in the discus F34 and eighth in shot put F34. He was set to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin F34 events.
The IPC and the London 2017 Organising Committee will hold a press conference on Wednesday at the Upper Welcome Zone at the Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at 12:00.
During Friday’s Opening Ceremony at the London Stadium, a moment of silence will be held for Hayayei.
“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 a state of shock at this terrible tragedy,” said Sir Philip Craven, IPC President.
Ed Warner, Co-chair of London 2017 speaking about the incident 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. We will be working closely with all the competitors and teams over the days ahead to offer support wherever it is needed.”
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham also expressed his condolences saying, “The whole of Newham will be saddened by this tragic incident. All our thoughts of course are with the family of Abdullah Hayayei at this time.”
Chelsey Gotell, Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council said: “The IPC Athlete Council is devastated to hear about the passing of Abdullah Hayayei.
“As the Paralympic athlete community, we come together to celebrate the joy of sport but we also come together as a family to mourn during the most difficult of times. On behalf of all Paralympic athletes, we would like to extend our unwavering love and support to his family, teammates, friends and the NPC of the United Arab Emirates.”
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