Paralympics 2016: Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad dies after crash in men's road race

The cyclist received emergency treatment on the course and was transported to a Rio hospital where he died

Iranian cyclist dies at Rio 2016 Paralympic games

An Iranian cyclist has died after a crash in a men's road race at the Rio Paralympics.

Bahman Golbarnezhad, aged 48, was competing in the C4-5 event for athletes with lower limb impairments or amputations.

The cyclist was descending a steep hill on a mountainous stretch of the course when he crashed at around 10:40am local time, according to the International Paralympics Committee.

Mr Golbarnezhad received emergency treatment on the course and suffered cardiac arrest while he was being transported to a Rio hospital, where he died.

The IPC said it believes this is the first death in a Paralympics and officials said the cause of the crash, which remains unclear, was being investigated.

“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 of Iran,” IPC President Philip Craven said in a statement.

“The Paralympic family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy, which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games.”

Cyclists compete in the men's road cycling race C4-5, during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Iranian flag has been lowered to half-mast in the athletes' village and Mr Golbarnezhad's family, who are in Iran, were informed this afternoon, according to the IPC.

A moment of silence will be held for the cyclist during Sunday night's closing ceremony.

According to a Paralympic biography, Mr Golbarnezhad was born in Shiraz, Iran's sixth most populous city.

This was his second race in Rio, where he was the only cyclist on the Iranian team.

On Wednesday, he finished 14th in a time trial. He also competed in the 2012 London Paralympics, but didn't win a medal.

“This is very sad news for sport and for the Paralympic movement," Rio 2016 Organising Committee President Carlos Nuzman told Associated Press.

“Our hearts and prayers are with Bahman's family, his team-mates and all the people of Iran.”

Saturday's race was won by Daniel Abraham of Holland, with Brazil's Lauro Chaman second and Andrea Tarlao of Italy third.

The road races began at Pontal and included the Grumari circuit incorporated in the Rio Olympics cycling road races.

Additional reporting from agencies

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