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This photo provided by the International Olympic Committee shows Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad in the Men's Road Race C4-5 for the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Officials said Golbarnezhad died after crashing during competition on Saturday. (Anthony Edgar/International Olympic Committee via AP)

A cyclist died after a crash in a Paralympic race


An Iranian Paralympic cyclist was killed after a crash during a road race in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

Bahman Golbarnezhad, of Shiraz, Iran, was 48. He crashed at about 10:40 a.m. Saturday and suffered a heart attack en route to the hospital. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

The International Paralympic Committee believes this is the first death in a Paralympics.

The Paralympic family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy, which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games.
IPC President Philip Craven

A moment of silence will be held for Golbarnezhad during Sunday's closing ceremonies, and the Iranian flag at the Olympic Village has been lowered to half-staff.

He competed in the C4-5 races, for athletes with lower limb impairments or amputations.

The race was Golbarnezhad's second at the Rio Games. He finished 14th in a time trial on Wednesday.

The crash stopped seven riders from finishing and delayed another race (visually impaired athletes on tandem bicycles) for 45 minutes.

This did not occur on the same course where an Olympic rider was in a serious crash.

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, offered condolences on Twitter.

Here's an English translation of the above tweet: "The tragic death of Golbarnejad, our beloved cyclist during the Rio Paralympic Games, leaves all of us in sorrow. God bless his soul."

(Golbarnejad is an alternate spelling of Golbarnezhad.)

Olympic field hockey player Sam Quek also offered her condolences on Twitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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