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Paralympic road race crash kills Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad

Bahman Golbarnez in action at the London Paralympics 2012
Sagnik Kundu
Modified 18 Sep 2016

Following a crash in the men's C4/C5 road race at the Rio Paralympics, Bahman Golbarnezhad, the 48-year-old cyclist succumbed to his death. He suffered a fatal heart-attack after the crash and was given treatment at the scene of the accident, before being rushed to a local hospital but could not be revived despite best efforts.

Iran's NPC confirmed in an official statement that Golbarnezhad, their lone cyclist at the Games, had died.“Regretfully, IR IRAN NPC announces that Mr Bahman Golbarnez had, passed away because of his accident during the competition.” 

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The Iranian team and the para-athlete’s family in Iran were brought together in the athletes’ village and informed of the sad news.The cyclist, who hailed from Shiraz, competed in the road races which began at Pontal and included the Grumari circuit incorporated in the Rio Olympics road races.

A treacherous descent in the Vista Chinesa circuit which caused Annemiek van Vleuten, from the Netherlands, to stumble and crash into the curb in the Olympics in August was excluded from the race. The Dutchman had suffered a heavy concussion as a result of his fall.

The Iranian also competed in the 2012 London Paralympics and came 14th in the time-trial earlier on Wednesday.

The IPC said it believes this is the first death in a Paralympics. As per reports, Golbarnez had crashed about 10:40 a.m. local time on a mountainous stretch of the road cycling course. It was also informed that he had suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. The cause of the crash was not clear, and officials said it was being investigated

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Sir Philip Carven, the International Paralympic Committee president, also expressed grief at the horrific incident which was rather unfortunate.

“The Paralympic family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games here in Rio.” 
Carlos Nuzman, president of Rio 2016, said: “This is very sad news for sport and for the Paralympic movement. Our hearts and prayers are with Bahman’s family, his team-mates and all the people of Iran.” The accident is now under investigation.

Published 18 Sep 2016, 13:14 IST
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