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The 32-year-old athlete Álex Quiñónez, with the best record in the country in the 200-meter dash, was killed on Friday night in the port of Guayaquil, the Andean country’s Ministry of Sports confirmed this Saturday, October 23.
“It is with deep pain that we confirm the murder of our athlete Alex Quiñónez,” the Ecuadorian Ministry of Sports said this Saturday, October 23, on its official Twitter account.
The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, expressed in turn that his government feels “very much the painful loss of Alex Quiñónez, father, son, a great sprinter who marked the sport.”
“Our sincere condolences to his loved ones. May he rest in peace. Those who take the lives of Ecuadorians will not go unpunished. We will act forcefully,” Lasso added on Twitter.
We are very sorry for the painful loss of Alex Quiñónez, father, son, a great sprinter who marked the sport. Our sincerest condolences to your loved ones. Rest in peace. Those who take the lives of Ecuadorians will not go unpunished. We will act forcefully.
– Guillermo Lasso (@LassoGuillermo) October 23, 2021
The athlete died in a firearm attack
The crime occurred around midnight on Friday in a suburb of Guayaquil, in the southwest of the country, according to a police source who added that the athlete and another person who was with him on the street died after a gunshot attack.
“We lost a great athlete, a person who made us dream, who made us excited,” the Sports Ministry said in its statement. He added that he was the “best sprinter in the history of our country.”
Quiñónez became the Pan-American 200-meter champion in Lima 2019.
The athlete was part of the Barcelona Football Club athletics team and regularly participated in the Spanish club championships. The Catalan entity joined in the condolences and expressed in Twiiter “its condolences for the murder” of the athlete.
Quiñónez did not participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Born in the coastal Esmeraldas, bordering Colombia, Quiñónez was a bronze medalist in the 200 meters at the Doha 2019 World Cup with a record of 19.98 behind the American Noah Lyles (19.83) and the Canadian André De Grasse (19 , 95).
But the best mark of the runner of 1.76 meters tall and 65 kilos of weight was 19.87 seconds in the 200 shots in the Diamond League in Lausanne that same year.
After being a finalist in the 200 meters in London 2012, when he achieved seventh place, Quiñónez left athletics for a while. He returned to training in 2017, aiming for a medal in Tokyo, but was unable to participate in that appointment.
His absence in that fair was due to a sanction from the International Athletics Federation for not correctly reporting his whereabouts for out-of-competition anti-doping controls.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) denied him a precautionary suspension of the one-year sanction when the athlete was waiting in the Olympic village prior to the competition.
“They are God’s tests, you have to accept them,” the Ecuadorian athlete said with resignation.
Ecuador faces an escalation in crime due to drug trafficking, with nearly 1,900 violent deaths so far this year, with Guayaquil being the city most affected by the violence.
That situation led Lasso to declare a state of emergency throughout the country for 60 days on Monday, ordering the military to take to the streets to patrol and search.