A 32-year-old Olympic sprinter, Alex Quinonez, was reportedly shot dead in his hometown in Ecuador Saturday, October 23. Quinonez was attacked by an unknown person outside a shopping centre in Colinas de la Florida, in Guayaquil. According to reports, Quinonez was with his friend, Jojairo Arcalla when the incident took place. A police investigation into the case is currently ongoing.
Quinonez's death was confirmed by Roberto IbÃ¡Ã±ez, president of the Guayas Sports Federation. "My heart is totally shattered, I can't find words to describe the emptiness I feel, " Roberto IbÃ¡Ã±ez said in a statement on Twitter. "I can not believe it, until when are we going to continue living so much evil and insecurity! Rest in peace dear Alex, I will miss you all my life." The news of Alex Quinonez's death comes on the fourth day of a state of emergency declared by the country's president, Guillermo Lasso, to try to stop an increase in crime in the country.
Who was Alex Quinonez?
The Ecuadorian sprinter, who competed in the 100m and 200m qualified to represent Ecuador in 200m at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He was, however, provisionally suspended for "whereabouts failures" after he failed to report for routine doping control. The International Olympic Committee suspended his participation and although he appealed the ruling, the sanction was upheld. Prior to this, he won the bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships in the 200 metres event. During the London 2012 Olympics, Quinonez clocked a national record of 20.28 seconds and finished seventh in the final. He also holds the national 400m record, having clocked 46.28 seconds in a race in Braga in 2019.
Friends and fans paid tribute to Alex Quinonez
"Devastating news coming from Ecuador this morning. Alex Quinonez 2019 WC 200m Bronze medalist murdered in the street. Heartbreaking stuff, " fellow sprinter David Lima, of Portugal, said in a tweet. The Ministry of Sports also reacted also paid tribute to Quinonez, labeling him as "the best sprinter in the history of our country." "We wake up in mourning once more, now for the murder of #AlexQuiÃ±oÃ±ez , feelings of injustice, sadness and helplessness for his departure. My condolences to his family and friends, " Former Governor of Guayas, Pedro Pablo Duart tweeted.