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Medal honour for athlete killed while training at Newham Leisure Centre

PUBLISHED: 18:05 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 18:05 14 July 2017

The Newham Leisure Centre closed after the death of a Paralympian athlete

The Newham Leisure Centre closed after the death of a Paralympian athlete

Archant

An athlete who was killed while training at Newham Leisure Centre ahead of the World Para Athletics Championships has been honoured with a special medal.

Abdullah Hayayei, who was due to represent the United Arab Emirates in the F34 class discus, javelin and shot put, died after a discus cage collapsed on him as he trained at the Prince Regent Lane venue on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old’s death will be acknowledged with a moment’s silence in this evening’s opening ceremony, where the medal will be presented to UAE officials to be passed on to his family.

Ed Warner, co-chair of the organising committee, said: “We’ve had minted a special medal, which we’re going to be presenting to his delegation in front of the crowd, to be taken to his family in memoriam.

“We will do all we can to embrace the UAE team over the course of the next 10 days.

“I’m sure the crowd will show their appreciation for athletes who are going to be rising to the adversity of losing a team-mate to terrible circumstances and still want to compete in these World Championships.”

International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven will visit the father-of-five’s family in Abu Dhabi during September’s IPC congress.

Investigations by the police and health and safety authorities are ongoing, with full cooperation of the IPC and the championships organisers.

The leisure centre reopened this morning, and it is hoped the athletics track and field will be open for competitors to train at this weekend.

Mr Warner said: “We’re working to ensure that we can get the training facility in Newham reopened for training, which should happen tomorrow.”

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