Qatari world 400m bronze medallist Abdalelah Haroun dies in car crash

Former world junior champion had been hoping to qualify for this year's Tokyo Olympics, although he was undergoing rehabilitation following an injury

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 08, 2017 Qatar's Abdalelah Haroun reacts after coming third in the final of the men's 400m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London. Qatari 400m World Championships bronz medalist runner Abdalelah Haroun has died today at the age of 24, the Qatar Olympic Committee announced. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD

Qatari sprinter Abdalelah Haroun, who won the bronze medal in the 400 metres at the 2017 World Championships, died in a car accident on Saturday, the global governing body of athletics said. He was 24 years old.

The former world junior champion had been hoping to qualify for this year's Tokyo Olympics, although he was undergoing rehabilitation following an injury.

Qatar Olympic Committee president Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani wrote on Twitter that they had lost a "heroic Qatari runner" in a tragic accident.

Haroun was born in Sudan and earned the right to represent Qatar in 2015, the same year he made his breakthrough when he captured the Asian 400m title at the age of 18 and set an Asian Under-20 record of 44.27.

He won the Asian indoor title the following year and claimed a silver at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, before going on to compete in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Haroun became the first Asian world 400m medallist in 2017, when he claimed the bronze medal behind South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk and Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas in London.

He is Qatar's national record-holder with a best time of 44.07 set in 2018.

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