One of Ecuador’s most famous athletes, Alex Quiñónez, was killed.
He was shot along with another person outside a shopping mall in Guyaquil city on Friday night. A reason is not yet clear.
Tributes have arrived for 32-year-old Quiñónez, described by the Ecuadorian athletics federation as the greatest sprinter in the country.
President Guillermo Lasso has promised that those responsible for the murder will be found and punished.
It comes after Ecuador entered a 60-day national state of emergency on Monday in response to a wave of violent crime.
Official figures suggest that the number of murders in the first eight months of this year is double that of the same period last year.
“With great sadness we confirm the murder of our sportsman Alex Quiñónez,” announced the Sport Ministry on Twitter.
“We lost a great sportsman, someone who made us dream, who moved us … he was the greatest sprinter produced by this country”.
Mr. Quiñónez won bronze in the 200m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. He was suspended before the Tokyo Olympics due to “violation of his residence obligations”.
President Lasso tweeted his condolences.
“Rest in peace. Those who take the life of Ecuadorians will not go unpunished,” he said.
This is the second murder of an international athlete this month.
Agnes Tirop, a Kenyan runner who recently broke the world record of 10km on women-only road, was stabbed to death in her home. Her husband was arrested on a murder charge.
The wave of crime in Ecuador triggers a state of emergency
- 4 days ago
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