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United Arab Emirates Paralympian Abdullah Hayayei, who competed in shot put and javelin at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, died on Tuesday during training when he was struck in the head by a falling metal pole from one of the throwing cages. He was 36.

Hayayei was in London preparing for the World Para-athletic Championships, which begin on Friday. According to the Guardian, he was going through his regular training routines when a portion of a metal discus cage suddenly collapsed and fell on his head. Despite receiving medical assistance, he was pronounced dead at the scene.


Hayayei was a father of five who debuted at the World Championships in 2015, where he placed fifth in the discuss and eighth in the shot put. He was due to compete in those events, as well as the javelin, in London under the F34 classification, which is a seated throw for athletes with reduced abilities in their legs.

The Health and Safety Executive, as well as police, are still investigating how the death happened. Other athletes at the training venue when Hayayei was struck have been offered counseling, and a moment of silence will be held for Hayayei during the Games’ opening ceremony.


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