Art And Culture

Para-Cyclist Dies in Tragic Crash in Rio

Bahman GolbarnezhadBahman Golbarnezhad

Iranian Para cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad met with a tragic end in the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro following an accident during the men's cycling road race on the penultimate day of the games on Saturday, September 17.

After a crash on the downhill slope of the road race, Golbarnezhad, 48, was immediately treated at the scene but suffered a cardiac arrest as he was being taken to hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra.

"He was an exemplary Paralympics sportsman who, with love and energy, tried his best to promote the name of Iran and make all of us proud," said a statement by the National Paralympic Committee (NPC), reported.

President Hassan Rouhani twitted a condolence message that said, "We all grieve the tragedy of our beloved cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad's passing away during the Rio Paralympics. May Allah bless his soul."

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) also reacted to the unfortunate death of the Paralympian, saying: "This is truly heart-breaking news and the thoughts and condolences of the whole Paralympic movement are with Bahman’s family, friends, and teammates as well as Iran's NPC,’ said IPC president Philip Craven.

Brazil's top official for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, Carlos Nuzman, called it "very sad news for sport and for the Paralympic movement".

"Our hearts and prayers are with Bahman's family, his teammates and all the people of Iran," he said.

Golbarnezhad, who was the oldest contender in the category, lost his left leg during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and wore a prosthetic leg. He started cycling in 2006 and after joining the national team, won a gold medal in the 2012 Asian Games in Malaysia and a bronze in the 2010 Para-Asian Games in China.

Iran’s flag has been lowered to half-mast in the Paralympic Village and a moment of silence will be observed during Sunday’s closing ceremony.

  Footballers Take Silver

In other events, Iran's 5-a-side football team won the silver medal on Saturday after losing the final match to Brazil 0-1. Brazil claimed their fourth consecutive Paralympic gold since the sports debut at Athens 2004.

Iranians gave a superb performance and it was the first time they appeared on the Paralympic podium in the event.

In the men's shot put Javid Ehsani Shakib won the bronze medal with a throw of 14.13 meters in his sixth attempt.

With 23 medals (7 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze) Iran was 20th in the medal tally at the end of the 10th day of the games.