IBTimes UK

Iranian Para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad died after a crash during the Men's C4-5 road race at 2016 Rio Paralympics on 17 September.

The 48-year-old was involved in the crash at around 10:40am local time on a mountainous stretch of the race course, according to the Rio Paralympics official website. The athlete suffered a cardiac arrest on his way to the athlete hospital. He passed away soon after arriving at the nearby Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra da Tijuca .

Golbarnezhad, who is survived by his wife and son, took part in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Saturday's race was his second in the ongoing Games as he rode in the time trial C4 race on 14 September and finished 14th.

The athlete's family, who are in Iran, were informed on Saturday afternoon and the Iranian team was brought together in the Paralympic Village earlier in the evening and told of the news.

The Iranian Flag at the Games Village has been lowered to half-mast. The Paralympic flag will also be flown at half-mast at Riocentro venue, where Iran will play the gold medal match in sitting volleyball against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 18 September.

"He is one of the most hard-working and active athletes that we have. He's our best cyclist," Massoud Ashrafi, the secretary general of Iran's National Paralympic Committee was quoted as saying by the Paralympic Games official website.

International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Carven said the tragic incident cast a shadow over the Games in Rio.

"This is truly heartbreaking news and the thoughts and condolences of the whole Paralympic movement are with Bahman's family, friends, and teammates as well as the whole of the National Paralympic Committee of Iran," Carven added.

"The Paralympic family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy, which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games here in Rio."

IBTimes UK