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July 13, 2017

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Paralympic athlete dies following training ground incident in London

A para athlete, Abdullah Hayayei, has died following a training ground incident at Newham Leisure Centre on Tuesday evening (11 July).

The Health and Safety Executive was informed, and the centre has been closed since the incident, as police investigations have taken place.

The United Arab Emirates athlete had been been training at the centre in preparation for the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017, which is due to begin on Friday.

Emergency services were called shortly after 5pm to reports of a seriously injured man. Police, London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended the scene. At 5.20pm the athlete was pronounced dead.

Discus cage

Several media outlets reported the death occurred after a discus cage, which it is claimed had only been on the site for several days, collapsed on him while training.

A spokesman for the Met Police said: “London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance were called shortly after 5pm on Tuesday, 11 July, to reports of a seriously injured man at Newham Leisure Centre in Prince Regent Lane.

“The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:20pm. At this early stage, it is believed the man was struck by a metal pole which formed part of training facilities at the centre.”

Truly devastated

Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee 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 state of shock at this terrible tragedy.”

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. We will be working closely with all the competitors and teams over the days ahead to offer support wherever it is needed.”

Tragic incident

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “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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