Iranian Paracyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad dies after crashing in road race in Rio
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 19/09/16 7:35am
Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad has died following a crash in the men's C4/C5 road race at the Rio Paralympics on Saturday.
On Saturday evening Iran's national Paralympic committee announced the 48-year-old from Shiraz had passed away.
The road races began at Pontal and included the Grumari circuit incorporated in the Rio Olympics.
The Vista Chinesa circuit - which included a treacherous descent where Holland's Annemiek van Vleuten crashed into the curb, sustaining heavy concussion - was not part of the Paralympic course.
Golbarnezhad was 14th in the time-trial on Wednesday and also competed at the London 2012 Games. He was Iran's sole cyclist in Rio.
Iran's NPC said in a statement: "Regretfully, I.R.IRAN NPC announces that Mr. Bahman Golbarnezhad, passed away because of his accident during the competition."
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) also released a statement to express their "deep sadness and regret".
They revealed the crash occurred on the first section of the Grumari loop, a mountainous stretch of the course, adding the athlete received treatment at the scene and was being taken to the athlete hospital when he suffered a cardiac arrest.
The ambulance was then diverted to the nearby Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra where he passed away soon after arrival.
IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: "This is truly heart-breaking news and the thoughts and condolences of the whole Paralympic Movement are with Bahman's family, friends, and team-mates as well as the whole of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Iran.
"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."
The Paralympic flag will be flown at half-mast in the Paralympic Village and during Sunday's closing ceremony a moment of silence will be held. An investigation into the circumstances of the accident has been launched.
Saturday's race was won by Daniel Abraham of Holland, with Brazil's Lauro Chaman second and Andrea Tarlao of Italy third.
Sarah Storey won the women's C4/C5 road race earlier on Saturday to secure her 14th Paralympic gold of her career.