A Qatari sprinter who won bronze at the 2017 World Championships in London has died at the age of 24, the country’s Olympic Committee has said.
Abdalelah Haroun, a former world junior champion, is believed to have died in a car crash, according to World Athletics.
Qatar Athletics Federation chairman Mohammed Issa al-Fadala said Haroun had been killed in an incident in the country’s capital, Doha, according to reports.
The committee announced the runner’s death on social media but no further details about the circumstances have been given.
Born in Sudan, Haroun gained eligibility to represent Qatar in 2015, World Athletics said, and competed at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, reaching the semi-finals.
In 2017, he ran the 400 metres in 44.48 seconds to finish third at the World Championships in London, behind winner Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa and Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas – and became the first Asian world medallist for the event.
“It is a very special moment for my country,” he said at the time, “and an honour to take the bronze medal with me.”
Haroun was also the national record-holder, with a personal best time of 44.07 seconds, according to World Athletics.
Fellow athletes were among those paying tribute on Twitter.
Qatari high jumper Mutaz Barshim called Haroun a “hero” and said he was “good of heart”.
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