Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Olympic Sprinter Alex Quiñónez Fatally Shot in Ecuador

Sat 23 Oct 2021 | 11:35 PM
Ahmad El-Assasy

Ecuadorian sprinter Alex Quiñónez was shot and killed in the port city of Guayaquil on Saturday, according to authorities.

Quiñónez, who was 32, became a national hero in 2012 when he reached the 200-meter final at the London Games, finishing seventh in a race won by Usain Bolt.

According to the Guayaquil-based publication El Universo, Quiñónez was fatally shot on a street in the city's northwest region around 9:20 p.m. Friday, and another guy was also slain.

In a statement released on Saturday, Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso promised that the murder "will not go unpunished."

The Ecuadorian Olympic Committee acknowledged Quiñónez's death in a statement on Saturday. The circumstances of his death, it claimed, “have not yet been clarified.”

Quiñónez finished third in the 200 metres at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

On Twitter, Ecuadorian Olympic Committee Secretary-General Andrea Sotomayor voiced her sadness and fury, criticizing "so much evil."

“I don’t have words to express the sadness, helplessness and indignation that is overwhelming me,” wrote Sotomayor, who was formerly Minister of Sport.

“Álex Quiñónez was the synonym of humility and a clear example of resilience. His loss leaves us with pain in our chests.”

Guayaquil and other parts of Ecuador have been plagued by high crime rates.

Lasso declared a state of emergency in Ecuador earlier this month to combat drug trafficking and other crimes, saying the military and police would go to the streets to maintain security.

Inmates of opposing gangs tied to Mexican drug cartels have massacred each other in the country's prisons this year as a result of drug violence, especially in Guayaquil. In those complexes, around 230 people were slain.