WorldSprinter Alex Quiñónez is assassinated amid wave of violence in Ecuador

Sprinter Alex Quiñónez is assassinated amid wave of violence in Ecuador

Alex Quiñónez, one of the best track athletes in the world, was shot dead on Friday night in the streets of the Colinas de la Florida neighborhood in Guayaquil (Ecuador), where he lived. The police are investigating the still confused circumstances of what happened, in which a friend of the athlete also died. Ecuador is under curfew for the rise in crime and the coastal region of Guayas, whose capital is the port city of Guayaquil, is one of those with the most violent deaths. According to witnesses cited by the newspaper The Universe, several men wearing clothes similar to those of the National Police arrived at the scene and shot at two people, one of them Quiñónez.

Quiñónez, 32, a light sprinter (1.76 meters, 65 kilos) with a great ability to maintain speed, was a bronze medalist in the 200 meters at the 2019 Doha World Cup, the year he was also Pan-American distance champion in Lima and in which he achieved, in the Diamond League of Lausanne, his best mark in the distance, 19.87s. He was part of the Fútbol Club Barcelona athletics team and regularly participated in the Spanish club championships.

Born in Esmeraldas, also on the coast, north of Guayaquil, Quiñónez left athletics for a while after becoming an Olympic finalist in London 2012 (he finished seventh). He returned to discipline and intense work in 2017, coached by Cuban coach Nelson Gutiérrez based in Quito, also coach of Colombian four-hundred-meter athlete Anthony Zambrano, who gave him the goal of improving his output, strengthening his muscles and lowering 19, 80s to try for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics which, in the end, he could not participate.

“These are God’s ordeals, we must accept them”, was his resignation comment in the Olympic Village in the Japanese capital when, at the beginning of the competition, his representative, the Spaniard Alberto Suárez, informed Quiñónez that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS ) denied a provisional suspension of the one-year sanction imposed on him weeks earlier by the International Athletics Federation for failing to properly notify his whereabouts to out-of-competition anti-doping controls in May. The error was assumed by his representative, who was in charge of informing about the notifications, which earned the athlete a reduction to one year of the foreseen penalty of two, but not a full pardon.

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