The UAE Paralympic sport community is in a state of shock following the death of Emirati Paralympian Abdullah Hayayei during a training session at an official venue of the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships on Tuesday, where he was preparing for the competition.
Majid Al Usaimi, the vice president of the UAE National Paralympic Committee (NPC), confirmed in a press conference at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Wednesday, that Hayayei’s death involved the collapse of a metal throwing cage on his head.
The incident was witnessed by his team-mates, team officials, and a number of staff from the London 2017 organising committee, according to Craig Spence, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) media and communications director.Both IPC and London 2017 organising committee officials were unable to reveal any details of the incident due to a current police investigation in the matter, but Al Usaimi had already told UAE media on Tuesday about the collapsed throwing cage and when asked on Wednesday if that were the case, Ed Warner, the London 2017 organising committee co-chair said it was a “fair assumption”. “The incident took place at 17:00 hours and as soon as it happened, an onsite member of the competition team emergency services, called emergency services and the first ambulance was onsite before that call had even finished. Two onsite London 2017 physios at the venue immediately attended the incident to offer what help they could. Police and the London ambulance were soon on the scene. Sadly at 17:20, the athlete was pronounced dead at the scene. As is the procedure in cases of a sudden death, a police investigation is ongoing with the support of the Health and Safety Executive,” said Spence on Wednesday.