Iranian cyclist dies at Paralympics after bike crash

© Carlos Garcia Rawlins
The Paralympics was rocked by news that Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad died following a crash in a road race in Rio.

The 48-year-old was competing in the men’s C4/C5 road race before getting off his bike, when he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Mr. Golbarnezhad was treated at the scene and rushed to the hospital but could not be resuscitated.

The veteran cyclist had also competed for Iran at the London 2012 Paralympics, and was his country’s only representative in cycling in Rio.

Iran’s NPC confirmed the news of Mr. Golbarnezhad’s death in a statement.

“Regretfully, IR IRAN NPC announces that Mr. Bahman Golbarnezhad passed away because of his accident during the competition.”

The Iranian Paralympic team was told the news at the Athletes’ Village, and Mr. Golbarnezhad’s family was consulted.

International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven said the news came as a massive shock to all those competing.

“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,” he said.

President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Nuzman also offered his condolences.

“This is 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.

Secretary General of Iran’s National Paralympic Committee Masoud Ashrafi said he wanted Mr. Golbarnezhad’s body to be flown home on Sunday.

“He had been cycling for 12 years and he was our best cyclist. He was married and has a wife and one son,” the official said.

“He was the kind of man who was a family man. He loved his family.”

An investigation into the circumstances of the accident has been launched.

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