Iraqis are mourning the death of kick-boxing champion Ali Jamil who died on Tuesday in a fire in the bakery he was working at in Karbala, according to a statement from the Iraqi Kick-boxing Federation.
“With sorrow and sadness, and with hearts that believe in God’s will and destiny, federation president Maj Gen Qassim Al Wasiti, and members of the federation from coaches, referees, and all administrators, extend their condolences and sympathy to the family of the national team player Ali Jamil who returned to his Creator this morning after severe burns following the explosion of the oven where he works in the holy city of Karbala,” the federation said in an official statement.
The federation said he had sustained serious injuries in the gas explosion at the bakery where he worked on August 18.
The head of the federation had requested Jamil be transferred from Karbala to a hospital in Baghdad to receive life-saving treatment.
The kick-boxer had represented Iraq in several international tournaments and won many bouts, the last of which was at the International Jordan Open.
He won three gold medals in three events.
"It is unfortunate that we see a prominent Iraqi athlete and hero forced to work in a hard profession far from his goals and dreams,” Iraqi sports reporter Hussain Raheem told Alsumaria news outlet.
"Ali's work in the bakery came as a result of the lack of interest in individual sports in Iraq and this segment of society is supposed to be looked [after] and cared for and supported in order to continue to represent Iraq in a manner worthy of the country."