There has been heart breaking news in the build up to the World Para Athletic Championships in London as Abdullah Hayayei of the United Arab Emirates died following a training ground incident in London on Tuesday night.
Hayayei was practicing ahead of the world championships, training at the Newham Leisure Center which was open to athletes. Hayayei is an F34 class thrower and could well have had an impact in the event with some strong performances recently.
At 6pm emergency services were called to the scene after reports of a serious injury to Hayayei, with police, ambulances, and an air ambulance all reporting to the scene. Unfortunately it was too late as the medical professionals did everything they could but declared Hayayei dead 20 minutes after arrival.
The athlete’s family, who was still in the UAE, were notified quickly and the UAE team was notified and gathered at their hotel after the tragic news.
“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.” Said Ed Warner, the co-chair of the local organizing committee.
“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.” Said International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven.
The death happened after a throwing cage collapsed on to Hayayei during the training session the UAE Paralympic Committee confirmed. Horrifically a number of Hayayei’s team mates had to witness the incident and will be receiving counseling if requested.
“I can say the throwing cage collapsed on the athlete’s head – but how that happened, we can not say,” said the vice president of the UAE Paralympic Committee, Majid Rashed.
After the collapse of the throwing cage the Health and Safety Executive was notified and a full investigation will occur. The death of Hayayei has brought a somber tone to the event, where he will no doubt be memorialized throughout the week, including a moment of silence as part of the opening ceremony.
Hayayei is survived by his wife and five children.