Local and global sports organisations paid tribute to Qatar’s 2017 bronze medallist on Saturday.
The first Asian world 400 metre medallist, Abdalelah Haroun, died in a car crash in Doha on Saturday, the Qatar Athletics Federation confirmed.
The 24-year-old athlete got into a fatal car accident ahead of preparations to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“Qatar was well represented in the continental and international events by the star. Your memory will remain in our hearts forever,” Qatar Athletics Federation tweeted.
Condolences poured in from the World Athletics which was “deeply saddened” to hear the unfortunate passing of the Qatari runner.
World Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that Qatari sprinter Abdalelah Haroun – 2017 world 400m bronze medallist and a former world junior champion – has died in a car crash at the age of 24.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) June 26, 2021
The Qatar Olympic Committee also mourned the loss of the athlete on its official Twitter page with a black-and-white picture of theHaroun holding a bouquet of flowers and the Qatari flag.
“Today, with great sadness and sorrow, we lost the hero Qatari runner Abdulelah Haroun, who died in a tragic accident. Our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, the Qatari and international Olympic family, and we ask God to bless him with forgiveness and accept him into heaven,” QOC President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani said on Twitter.
“We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. Sincere condolences and great sympathy to the family of the deceased and to the Qatari sports family,” QOC Secretary-General Jassim Rashid Al Buenain said in a tweet.
Fellow Team Qatar athletes Mutaz Barshim and Abderrahman Samba took to Twitter to mourn the death of Haroun, which came as a shock to Qatar’s sports community.
The Sudanese champion joined the Qatari team in 2015. In his first year, Haroun won silver at the World Indoor Championships in Portland.
“He went to the World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz as favourite for gold, which he achieved in a time of 44.81, and made his Olympic debut in Rio the following month, reaching the semifinals,” according to the World Athletics.
The year after it, he raised the Qatari flag in a remarkable win finishing third place at 44.48 seconds at the IAAF World Championships in London in 2017.
In 2018, the former junior world champion won gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
The Saudi Athletics Federation also sent its condolences to QAF, “asking the Almighty to bless him with his mercy and dwell in his vast gardens, we belong to God and to Him we shall return.”