Tragedy struck the Rio Paralympic Games today when Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad died following a crash in the C4 road race, according to a statement released today by the International Paralympic Committee.
The 48-year-old cyclist was involved in a crash on the first section of the Grumari loop and received treatment at the scene, according to the IPC's statement. He was being transported to the Athlete Hospital when he suffered a cardiac arrest, and was diverted to the Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra, where he died soon after arrival.
"This is truly heart-breaking news and the thoughts and condolences of the whole Paralympic Movement are with Bahman's family, friends, and teammates as well as the whole of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Iran," said IPC President Philip Craven. "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."
UCI President Brian Cookson also offered his condolences upon learning the news.
"I am devastated to hear about the death of Iranian rider Bahman Golbarnezhad," Cookson said. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and the NPC of Iran, to whom we offer our most sincere condolences."
The Iranian Flag has been lowered to half-mast in the Paralympic Village, and the Paralympic flag will also be flown at half-mast in the Paralympic Village and at the Rio Centro venue, where Iran on Sunday will play Bosnia and Herzegovina in the sitting volleyball gold medal match, according to the IPC's statement. A moment of silence will take place during Sunday's closing ceremony.
Today's race was Golbarnezhad's second at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. On Wednesday he took part in the time trial C4 race, finishing 14th. He also participated at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Golbarnezhad began racing in 2002.
The IPC said it has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the crash.
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