Against the backdrop of the BLM movement protesting racial injustice, calls increased for change to IOC rule.
Qatari 400 metre runner Abdalelah Haroun, who won a bronze medal at the 2017 world championships, has died in a car crash in Doha, the Qatar Athletics Federation said on Saturday. He was 24.
The federation’s secretary general, Mohammed Issa al-Fadala, said Qatar sports and athletics “lost a great hero” on a global level.
“He was in a rehabilitation programme after recovering from an injury (in preparation) to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics,” al-Fadala said.
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 on Saturday.
“Team #Qatar sprinter and world 400m bronze medalist Abdalelah Haroun died today,” it posted on Twitter – along with a black-and-white picture of the athlete holding a bouquet of flowers and the Qatari flag.
إنا لله وانا اليه راجعون
رحل صاحب القلب الطيب البطل عبدالاله هارون في ذمة الله 💔، لا تنسوه من صالح دعائكم
اللهمّ أبدله داراً خيراً من داره، وأهلاً خيراً من أهله، وأدخله الجنّة، وأعذه من عذاب القبر، ومن عذاب النّار. pic.twitter.com/xPhdhjBgu6
— معتز برشم ♕Barshim (@mutazbarshim) June 26, 2021
Haroun, of Sudanese origin, first represented Qatar in 2015 – stealing the spotlight in his early days by recording remarkable times over 400m.
He finished in third place at 44.48 seconds at the IAAF World Championships in London in 2017, behind South African winner Wayde van Niekerk and Bahamas athlete Steven Gardiner.
Haroun also won silver at the World Indoor Championships in 2016 in Portland and gold at the Asian Games in 2018 in Jakarta.