(USA TODAY Sports) — An Iranian cyclist died Saturday after an accident during the men's C4-5 road race at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The International Paralympic Committee said Bahman Golbarnezhad, 48, crashed at around 10:40 a.m. on a mountainous stretch of the course. He was treated at the scene and was being taken to a hospital when he went into cardiac arrest. Golbarnezhad was pronounced dead shortly thereafter Unimed Rio Hospital.
“The Paralympic family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games here in Rio.” International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Carven said.
Golbarnezhad also competed at the London Paralympics in 2012. His family in Iran was notified and members of the Iranian team gathered in the athletes village.
The Iranian flag was lowered to half-mast at the village, and there will be a moment of silence at the closing ceremony on Sunday, according to a statement from the committee.
The race was Golbarnezhad’s second race at the Rio Games. On Wednesday, he finished 14th in the time trial C4.
Saturday's race began at Pontal and included the Grumari circuit used in the Rio Olympics road races.
The Vista Chinesa circuit — which included a treacherous descent where Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands crashed and sustained a concussion during the Olympics — was not part of the Paralympic course.
The accident stopped seven riders from finishing and meant that the B classification men's road race, for visually impaired athletes on a tandem bicycle, had to be restarted and delayed by 45 minutes, reportedly due to "a lack of ambulance cover," according to a CNN report.
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