Abdullah Hayayei: Paralympic star dies after being ‘struck by metal pole’ at east London leisure centre


A Paralympic athlete has died after he was struck by a metal pole while training at an east London leisure centre.

Javelin star Abdullah Hayayei was killed at Newham Leisure Centre while preparing for the World Para Athletics Championships in London.

Emergency services were called to reports of a “seriously injured man” just after 5pm on Tuesday but Hayayei, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The United Arab Emirates thrower was due to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin events in the World Championship on Friday.

The leisure centre remained closed to the public on Wednesday.

Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, 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.”

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.

“We will be working closely with all the competitors and teams over the days ahead to offer support wherever it is needed.”

A Met Police spokesman 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.

“It can be confirmed that the man was a competitor at the World Para Athletic Championships being held in London. His next of kin have been informed.

“Police officers remain at the scene and cordons are in place.

“The Health and Safety Executive have been informed.”

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