Latest: Para-athlete Abdullah Hayayei dies after discus cage collapses on him

Update 2pm: Para-athlete Abdullah Hayayei died after a discus cage collapsed on him as he trained in London ahead of the upcoming World Para-athletics Championships.

The 36-year-old, who was due to represent the United Arab Emirates in the F34 class discus, javelin and shot put, was training at Newham Leisure Centre on Tuesday in preparation for the championships which begin at the London Stadium on Friday.

An ongoing police investigation meant International Paralympic Committee and London 2017 chiefs were unable to divulge details of the tragic incident at a press conference at the Olympic Park on Wednesday.

But Majid Rashed, president of the Asian Paralympic Committee, confirmed: "I can say the throwing cage collapsed on the athlete's head.

"We don't have any more information about how that happened, what was the reason, or what the details are."

Abdullah Hayayei. Picture Getty.

Hayayei, a father of five, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:20pm on Tuesday evening.

The tragedy was witnessed by some of his team-mates as well as coaches and athletes from other competing nations, all of whom have been offered counselling.

Discussions were held to decide whether the championships should be postponed, but they will go ahead as planned. The UAE team will continue to participate.

Newham Leisure Centre, one of two official training venues for the championships, remains closed while the police investigation takes place.

It is the second fatality suffered by the Paralympic movement in the space of a year after Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad died following a crash in a road race at the Rio Paralympics.

Andrew Parsons, the IPC vice-president, said: "Everyone at the IPC and within the Paralympic family is truly devastated by the tragic news of Abdullah's death.

"Together with the London 2017 Organising Committee we will cooperate fully with the relevant authorities to establish the full facts relating to the accident.

"The health and safety of the para-athletes is the primary concern of everyone at the IPC and we want to know what has led to this terrible tragedy."

Hayayei represented the UAE at Rio last year and London 2017 would have been his second World Championships - in Doha he came fifth in the discus and eighth in the shot put.

A moment of silence will be held to remember Hayayei during Friday's opening ceremony, while further tributes are being planned.

Earlier: Para-athlete Abdullah Hayayei has died after being "struck by a metal pole" during a training incident on Tuesday in London ahead of the upcoming World Para Athletics Championships.

The 36-year-old, who represented the United Arab Emirates in the F34 class javelin and shot put at Rio 2016, was training at Newham Leisure Centre in preparation for the championships, which begin on Friday at the London Stadium.

The Metropolitan Police said: "Police, London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance were called shortly after 17:00hrs on Tuesday, 11 July, to reports of a seriously injured man at Newham Leisure Centre in Prince Regent Lane, E13. The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 17:20hrs.

"At this early stage, it is believed the man was struck by a metal pole which formed part of training facilities at the centre.

"It can be confirmed that the man was a competitor at the World Para Athletic Championships being held in London. His next of kin have been informed. The Health and Safety Executive have been informed."

London 2017 would have been Hayayei's second World Championships and he was due to compete in the shot put, discus and javelin F34 events.

At the 2015 championships in Doha, Qatar, Hayayei came fifth in the discus and finished eighth in shot put.

An International Paralympic Committee (IPC) statement said: "The athlete's family who are in the UAE have been informed of his death and the UAE team were brought together at the team hotel to be informed of the tragic news."

IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: "We are all truly devastated by this tragic news and the passing of Abdullah.

"The thoughts, prayers and condolences of the whole Paralympic movement are with Abdullah's family, friends and team-mates as well as the whole of the National Paralympic Committee of the UAE. We are all in a state of shock at this terrible tragedy."

A moment of silence will be held to remember Hayayei during Friday's opening ceremony.

Ed Warner, co-chair of London 2017, added: "This is a devastating event and everyone within the London 2017 organising committee is shocked and saddened.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Abdullah's family and team-mates at what is undoubtedly a very difficult time for them. We will be working closely with all the competitors and teams over the days ahead to offer support wherever it is needed."

More in this Section

Josh Warrington: Carl Frampton needs a world title before possible rematch

FAI to answer Sport Ireland's 'urgent clarification' request over Delaney loan at 'earliest opportunity'

Ryan Giggs: Wales can’t be reliant on Gareth Bale

Bolton due in High Court to face winding-up petition


Can a craft exhibition have Brexit influences?

Irish author’s mental health memoir shortlisted for prize

The mother of all gifts: Here are some ideas for how to treat your mum this Mother's Day

Blue Planet: Diving in for live show

More From The Irish Examiner