Qatari sprinter Abdalelah Haroun, who won the bronze medal in the 400 metres event at the 2017 World Championships, died on Saturday in a car accident, the global governing body of athletics said citing media reports. He was 24 years old.
The former world junior champion had been hoping to qualify for this year's Tokyo Olympics, though he was undergoing rehabilitation following an injury. Qatar Olympic Committee President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said in a tweet they had lost a "heroic Qatari runner" in a tragic accident, without providing details. Haroun was born in Sudan and earned the right to represent Qatar in 2015, the same year that he made his breakthrough when he captured the Asian 400m title at the age of 18 and set an Asian Under-20 record of 44.27.
He won the Asian indoor title the following year and claimed a silver at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, before going on to compete in the Rio Olympic Games.
Haroun became the first Asian world 400m medallist in 2017 when he claimed the bronze medal behind South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk and Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas in London. He is Qatar's national record-holder with the best time of 44.07 set in 2018.