The United Arab Emirates thrower was training at Newham Leisure Centre in preparation for the upcoming World Para Athletics Championships
United Arab Emirates para athlete Abdullah Hayayei has died following a ‘training ground incident’ on Tuesday in London, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced.
The F34 thrower had been training at Newham Leisure Centre in preparation for the upcoming World Para Athletics Championships in the UK capital when he died.
According to the IPC, emergency services were called shortly after 17:00 to reports of a seriously injured man. Police, London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended the scene but at 17:20 the athlete was pronounced dead.
“We are all truly devastated by this tragic news and the passing of Abdullah,” said IPC president Sir Philip Craven. “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.”
An investigation is ongoing but according to the BBC, vice president of the UAE Disabled Sports Federation, Majid Al Usaimi, told Dubai Sports TV that “the metal discus cage fell on his head”.
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 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.”
Hayayei made his Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games, where he finished sixth in the F34 javelin and seventh in the shot put.
The 36-year-old had been set to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin at London 2017, which would have been his second World Championships after the 2015 event in Doha, where he finished fifth in the discus and eighth in the shot put.
The IPC said that the Health and Safety Executive has been informed about the incident. A moment of silence will be held in tribute to Hayayei during Friday’s World Para Athletics Championships Opening Ceremony at the London Stadium.