An Iranian cyclist suffered a fatal heart attack following a crash in the men’s C4/C5 road race at the Rio Paralympics. Bahman Golbarnezhad, from Shiraz, was treated at the scene of the accident before being taken to a local hospital. Iran’s NPC later announced he had died. He was 48.
The road races began at Pontal and included the Grumari circuit incorporated in the Rio Olympics road races.
The Vista Chinesa circuit – which included a treacherous descent where Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands crashed into the curb, sustaining heavy concussion during the Olympics in August – was not part of the Paralympic course.
Golbarnezhad was 14th in the time-trial on Wednesday and also competed at the London 2012 Paralympics. He was Iran’s sole cyclist at the Rio Games.
Iran’s NPC said in a statement: “Regretfully, IR IRAN NPC announces that Mr Bahman Golbarnezhad, passed away because of his accident during the competition.” The athlete’s family in Iran were informed and the Iranian team was brought together in the athletes’ village and told of the sad news.
Sir Philip Carven, the International Paralympic Committee president, said: “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.” Carlos Nuzman, president of Rio 2016, said: “This is very sad news for sport and for the Paralympic movement. Our hearts and prayers are with Bahman’s family, his team-mates and all the people of Iran.”
An investigation into the accident has been launched.