Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez shot dead



Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez was shot dead within the port metropolis of Guayaquil, authorities introduced, sparking an outpouring of grief in a rustic struggling to include a surge in violence.

Quinonez, 32, and one other particular person had been discovered dead near midnight native time (0500 GMT) on Friday, in keeping with police.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso promised to carry his killers to justice.

“Those who take the lives of Ecuadoreans will not remain unpunished. We will act with force,” Lasso tweeted.

The provincial governor likewise pledged accountability for the murders.

“No one will rest until @PoliciaEcuador captures the culprits. We are facing a war against drug gangs that intend to subdue us,” Pablo Arosemena, the governor of Guayas province, whose capital is Guayaquil, stated on Twitter.

The nation’s sports activities ministry confirmed Quinonez’s killing on Twitter, paying tribute to “the best sprinter this nation produced”.

“We have lost a great sportsman, someone who allowed us to dream, who moved us,” the ministry stated.

Quinonez held Ecuador’s report for the 200-meter dash with a time of 19.87 seconds.

He was a finalist within the 2012 London Olympics, reaching seventh place after competing within the semis within the lane subsequent to Usain Bolt, the quickest sprinter in historical past.

Ecuador’s Olympic Committee stated the demise of Quinonez “leaves us with profound pain” and that his “legacy will forever stay in our hearts.”

The sprinter’s physique was because of return to his hometown of Esmeraldas on Saturday night time.

A tribute Sunday will see the athlete’s coffin positioned in a burning chapel in a soccer stadium within the city, stated the sports activities ministry.

Quinonez’s killing comes as violence has spiked dramatically in Ecuador in latest months. Between January and October this 12 months, the nation registered nearly 1,900 homicides, in comparison with about 1,400 in all of 2020, in keeping with the federal government.

President Lasso decreed a state of emergency all through the nation on Monday, because of final 60 days with the navy to take to the streets to patrol and perform searches.

Quinonez was making ready for coaching within the United States with a view to his official return to the tracks and eventual participation within the World Athletics Championships in Oregon subsequent 12 months.

The Ecuadorian Olympic Committee stated “the surprise departure” of Quinonez “leaves deep ache, however his legacy as the best sprinter in our historical past will at all times stay in our hearts”.

“Regrettable about our dear #alexquinonez, my heartfelt condolences to his family and his loved ones,” fellow Ecuadorian athlete bike owner Richard Carapaz, who gained gold within the males’s particular person street race at Tokyo 2020, stated on Twitter.

A critical contender for the rostrum on the Tokyo Olympics, Quinonez couldn’t compete because of a sanction from the International Athletics Federation for not accurately reporting his whereabouts for out-of-competition anti-doping exams.

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