Tragedy as World Sprint Medallist Dies After Being Shot Outside Shopping Centre

Tragedy as World Sprint Medallist Dies After Being Shot Outside Shopping Centre

  • Alex Quinonez is understood to have been shot dead along with another person in the city of Guayaquil
  • His death prompted tributes globally with Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso leading the country in mourning the athlete
  • In 2019, Quinonez became the first Ecuadorian to win a global medal in a track event after finishing third during the World Championships to scoop bronze

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Ecuadorian sprint star Alex Quinonez has tragically died after he was shot dead in his native country.

Bronze medalist Alex Quiñónez of Ecuador the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 02, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Alex Quinonez is understood to have been shot dead along with another person in the city of Guayaquil. Photo by Michael Steele.
Source: Getty Images

Quinonez shot to prominence in 2019 after he finished third during the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, to become the first athlete from Ecuador to win a global medal in a track event.

His unfortunate death was confirmed on Saturday, 24 October, by the Ecuadorian Sports Ministry, which announced the news via its Twitter feed.

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The ministry mourned the 32-year-old as "a great athlete", divulging authorities are still probing the circumstances surrounding his death.

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"Today we lost a great athlete, a person who made us dream, who made us excited," the statement said.
"The National Police are at the scene and the authorities are conducting the corresponding investigations," the ministry added.

BBC reports Quinonez was shot along with another person outside a shopping centre in the city of Guayaquil on the night of Friday, 23 October.

Quinonez has widely been mourned in the wake of his death with Ecuador's president Guillermo Lasso leading the country in paying tribute to the athlete.

"We are very sorry for the painful loss of Alex Quinonez, father, son, a great sprinter who marked the sport," Lasso mourned.

Tirop found dead

Quinonez's tragic death came only days after that of Kenyan Olympian Agnes Tirop, who was found dead in her house in Elgeyo Marakwet. Tirop, a double 10,000m bronze medallist at the World Athletics Championships, appeared to have been stabbed in the neck with a knife.

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Ibrahim Rotich, her estranged husband and the prime suspect in Tirop's alleged murder, has since been arrested in connection with the incident.

Briefly News reported that detectives nabbed Rotich in Changamwe, Mombasa, with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) saying he was trying to leave the country to evade justice.

The investigative agency said Rotich had rammed his getaway vehicle into a lorry at Mlolongo, along Mombasa Road, as he tried to evade the detectives' dragnet.

Source: Briefly.co.za

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