Abdullah Hayayei, a United Arab Emirates Paralympic thrower, died in an accident while training for the IPC World Track and Field Championships that begin Friday in London.
“I can say that the throwing cage collapsed on the athlete’s head, so, but how and what is the reason, we will not be able to [say],” UAE Paralympic Committee vice president Majid Rashed said in a press conference Wednesday.
The collapse happened at 5 p.m. local time Tuesday in London. Hayayei, a 36-year-old father of five, was pronounced dead at 5:20.
It happened at Newham Leisure Centre and not the 2012 Olympic Stadium, where the world championships will take place. The UAE team plans to compete. A moment of silence is planned for the opening ceremony Friday.
“He was ambitious. He dreamed to raise his country’s flag and achieve medals for his country and his family,” Rashed said. “The athletes were very close to Abdullah. … It’s really very difficult for all of us, but we promised ourselves, with the athletes, that we are going to continue, and we are going to present something for Abdullah, better and best performance from the athletes.”
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