Para athlete Abdullah Hayayei has died after a discus cage reportedly fell on him at Newham Leisure Centre.
The 36-year-old, a thrower in the F34 class, was there training for the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 which open on Friday, July 15 in Stratford.
Emergency services, including the London air Ambulance, were called to the centre in Prince Regent Lane at 5pm to reports a man had been "seriously injured". The athlete was pronounced dead at the scene 20 minutes later.
UAE Disabled Sports Federation vice president Majid Al Usaimi told Dubai Sports TV a metal discus cage fell on the athlete's head during training.
He added: “We are overcome by grief, all of the UAE delegation here in London, and are truly shocked by this news, but it is God’s will.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said in a statement it is “deeply saddened” by the death of the United Arab Emirates athlete on the evening of Tuesday, July 11.
IPC president Sir Philip Craven 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.”
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.”
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been informed of the incident.
Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council Chelsey Gotell said it was “devastating” news.
“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.”
Hayayei made his Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games last September. He finished sixth in the javelin F34 and seventh in shot put F34.
London 2017 was to be his second World Championships- following him placing fifth in the discus F34 and eighth in shot put F34 at the 2015 event in Doha, Qatar.
He was set to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin F34 events at the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Co-chair of London 2017 Ed Warner 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 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.”
A moment of silence will be held in honour of Hayayei’s death during the Opening Ceremony of the Championships at the London Stadium on Friday, July 15.
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