Qatari world 400m medallist Abdalelah Haroun dies aged 24

Qatar's Abdalelah Haroun reacts after coming third in the final of the men's 400m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium [File: Jewel Samad/AFP]

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.

Qatar's Abdalelah Haroun reacts after coming third in the final of the men's 400m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium [File: Jewel Samad/AFP]

“He was in a rehabilitation programme after recovering from an injury (in preparation) to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics,” al-Fadala said.

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.

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.

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