Emirati Paralympian Abdullah Hayayei has died during a tragic incident while training in London ahead of the World Para Athletics Championships on Tuesday.
According to Majid Al Usaimi, the vice president of the UAE Disabled Sports Federation, a discus cage at the official training venue fell on Hayayei, who passed away at 17:20 on Tuesday in the British capital.
The 36-year-old para athlete represented the UAE at the Rio 2016 Paralympics last year and finished sixth in the javelin and seventh in the shot put F34 events.
He was due to compete in the discus, javelin, and shot put F34 events at the World Championships that begin in London on Friday.
“The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is deeply saddened to announce the death of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Para athlete Abdullah Hayayei following a training ground incident this evening (11 July) in London, Great Britain,” read a statement published on www.paralympic.org.
“Hayayei, 36, a thrower in the F34 class, was training at Newham Leisure Centre in preparation for the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 which open on Friday when the incident took place.
“Emergency services were called shortly after 17:00 to reports of a seriously injured man. Police, London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended the scene. At 17:20 the athlete was pronounced dead at the scene.”
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president, 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.”
Speaking to Dubai Sports TV, Al Usaimi was unable to elaborate on the tragic incident due to ongoing investigations but briefly described what happened.
“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,” said Al Usaimi in Arabic. “We cannot discuss the details of the incident but what I can say is that during afternoon practice for the throwing team, at the official training venue of the competition, Abdullah was going through his usual training routines, before the metal discus cage fell on his head. The on-site medical staff tried to help him but to no avail.
“We cannot say more right now, they immediately conducted an investigation onsite and we are now waiting for the official report. The UAE embassy in London, the consul and other embassy staff are here with us.”
Asked if the UAE team still plan on competing at the World Championships, Al Usaimi said: “The delegation, these athletes who carry disabilities are soldiers of the UAE, raising the nation’s flag with every achievement. We had a meeting with the entire delegation and decided to continue our journey here, with greater motivation in honour of and as a tribute to our brother Abdullah.”
The IPC statement said that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been informed about the incident.
During Friday’s Opening Ceremony at the London Stadium a moment of silence will be held in honour of Hayayei’s death.
The parent of gold medalist Lamia Tariq Malallah believes action must now be taken to form a UAE gymnastics federation “as soon as possible” if the country wants to compete in the Olympics and achieve more success in future competitions.
Six-year-old Malallah, and Sara Al Muhairi and Lina Hamani, both eight, who all train at Dubai Youth Olympic School for Rhythmic Gymnastics (DYOSRG), impressed the judges with their performances to win medals at the 4th Open GR Azur International Rhythmic Gymnastics tournaments in France earlier this month.
Malallah was crowned champion in the Senior B, 2010-11 category, while Al Muhairi (silver, 2009 C) and Hamani (silver, 2009 B) came second best in their respective competitions.
The feats are more impressive considering DYOSRG were granted special permission to compete in the two-day tournament which attracted more than 170 competitors from 14 nations.
For major international tournaments, every entrant requires a licence from their own gymnastics federation to compete – something which the UAE does not have.
Since her daughter Lamia took up the sport almost a year ago, winning various medals, Malak has been in contact with organisations and following the France achievements, she fears any substantial delay could hinder gymnasts’ prospects in the future.
Summer in the UAE usually involves a mass exodus of expats jetting off to cooler climes in order to escape the blistering heat, but there’s still plenty on offer for those of you with kids that are staying put over the next few months.
The popular Emirates Palace Kids Summer Camp is back, running from now until August 31. With their 1.3km white sandy beach, water slides, lazy river and air-conditioned sports Air Dome, there’s plenty to stimulate, challenge and entertain your kids.
To make things even more exciting, Emirates Palace have partnered with Haddins Fitness — Abu Dhabi’s favourite family gym – to make their summer even more jam-packed full of fun activities.
Their adventure packed camp consists of fun activities for kids aged 5-12, including archery, wake boarding, yoga, cooking classes, kite making, tons of different sporting events and even Zumba.
The best part is the programmes are customisable, so you can choose the week, days, or session that suits your child’s interests and your schedule.
“Emirates Palace and Haddins Camps are not just about babysitting your kids, we aim to inspire, challenge and educate your kids on the benefits of healthy living, whilst ensuring they have a great time doing it,” said Michael Haddin, managing director of Haddins Fitness.
“Our camps are led by industry leading coaches who are all experts in their respective fields. We want to ensure your kids leave not just having had great time, but having learnt some new skills along the way. World class facilities, passionate and industry leading coaches… what more could you ask for in keeping your kids active and engaged this summer?
“Exercise and sport should be an enjoyable part of everyday life. Summer Camp at the Palace and Haddins Camps are the ideal first steps in helping your children to develop this love of movement and sport that we are so passionate about.”
Session rates are as low as Dh75 per hour or for one day it’s Dh220 (including lunch). If you want to pay on a weekly basis it’s Dh1,000 (lunch included) or without lunch per week, from 08:30-12:00 each day, it’s Dh600. Or you can pay Dh150 for three sessions per week (excluding lunch).
“At Emirates Palace, our dedicated recreation team plans resort activities to ensure that guests of all ages can enjoy an authentic experience,” said Emirates Palace recreation manager, Mo Petrie.
“We aspire to make sure that when every guest leaves, they feel a part of our Palace family.
“The feeling of catching your first wave during a windsurfing lesson will linger in a child’s memory for years to come. Our recreation team at Emirates Palace is dedicated to offering guests such meaningful experiences and to help create memories to last a lifetime.”