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23rd Oct 2021

Ecuador sprinter Alex Quiñónez shot dead

Daniel Brown

Rest in peace, Alex Quiñónez

Ecuador athlete Alex Quiñónez has been shot dead.

Mr Quiñónez, 32, and another person were both shot on Friday night outside a shopping centre in the city of Guyaquil, Ecuador.

The motive for the shooting is currently unclear.

“With great sadness, we confirm the murder of our sportsman Alex Quiñónez,” the Sports Ministry announced on Twitter.

“We have lost a great sportsman, someone who allowed us to dream, who moved us….he was the greatest sprinter this country produced.”

The sprinter won bronze in the 200 metres at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The death of Mr Quiñónez – who Ecuador’s athletics federation described as the country’s greatest sprinter – has seen a number of tributes pour in.

President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, has tweeted his condolences and promised that those behind the murder will be found and punished.

He said: “May he rest in peace. Those who take the lives of Ecuadoreans will not remain unpunished.”

Mr Quiñónez’s death marks the second killing of an international athlete this month, after Agnes Tirop was stabbed to death in her home.

The Kenyan runner recently broke the women-only 10km road race world record.

Her husband has since been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Following an increased amount of violent crime in Ecuador, a 60-day nationwide state of emergency came into force in the country on Monday.

As per the BBC, official figures suggest that the number of murders in the first eight months of this year are double those in the same period last year.