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9 Nov, 2021 15:10

Rising African cycling star dead at 21 after tragic training accident

Rising African cycling star dead at 21 after tragic training accident

Budding African cyclist Desiet Kidane Tekeste has died at the age of 21 after being involved in a road traffic accident in Eritrea, where she was hit by a car while training to remain active between competitions.

Tekeste was killed in Asmara, her hometown and the capital city of the East African country near Ethiopia and Sudan.

Winning the gold medal at the Junior African Continental Championships back in 2018, she was a rising star in the sport which shares status with football as the most popular in her motherland.

Finishing 18th at the Perigord Ladies and 22nd in the Choralis Fourmies Feminine this season, her death was widely mourned on social media.

"With her constant smile, kindness, respect and deep passion for cycling, Desiet Kidane Tekeste was a rising young talent who will be greatly missed," wrote the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

"Our thoughts are with her family, friends and [her] WCC Cycling teammates and coaches during this tragic time." 

WCC themselves said that: "Words can't express our sadness to hear of the passing of 21-year-old UCI WCC athlete, Desiet Kidane Tekeste from Eritrea. We will miss you Desiet."

And separately, the UCI's deputy general Amina Lanaya remarked that Tekeste's was "such a tragic loss".

"On behalf of everyone at the UCI and WCC Cycling, our hearts go out to Desiet’s family and close ones during this tragic moment in time," Lanaya added. 

"Her passion, kindness and immense talent are major losses to the whole cycling community."

Elsewhere, Africa Rising Cycling lamented that "another passionate and wonderful cyclist" had been "lost to the world after being hit by a car driver", as Africa Women Cycling called her a "beautiful soul" and an "amazingly talented" cyclist.

"You were an inspiration to African women cyclists throughout the continent," Tekeste was further complimented.