Tragedy in Rio Paralympics as Iranian Cyclist Dies From Crash

48-year-old Golbarnezhad fell from his bike during a mountainous stretch of what is called the Grumari loop.

Iranian cyclist Sarafraz Bahman Golbarnezhad
Twitter, Iran Olympic (@Olympic_ir)

Iranian cyclist Sarafraz Bahman Golbarnezhad has died after crashing at the Rio Paralympics on Saturday.

"With immense regret we have to say Sarafraz Bahman Golbarnezhad...has died after an accident while racing," Iran's Paralympic Committee said in a statement.

The 48-year-old fell from his bike in the C4-5 event in Rio – which is intended for cyclists with upper or lower limb impairments and low-level neurological impairment – during the mountainous stretch of what is called the Grumari loop, the BBC reported.

He received emergency treatment at the roadside and was taken to hospital where he later died. 

Golbarnezhad was an experienced Paralympian competing on a route that included the Gruman circuit used in last month's Olympic road races. 

"He was an exemplary Paralympic sportsman who, with love and energy, tried his best to promote the name of Iran and to make all of us proud and at the end he gave his life for this," the Paralympic Committee added. 

"All members of the Iranian cultural and sports camp here express condolences to his family and the Iranian nation. The name of Bahman Golbarnezhad will be inscribed in the proud history of Iranian Paralympics." 

Golbarnezhad also competed at the London Paralympics in 2012, the BBC said, adding that Iranian flag were lowered to half-mast in the Paralympic Village and that a period of silence was to be observed during Sunday's closing ceremony.