Alex Quinonez, an Olympic sprinter from Ecuador, was shot and killed.

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Alex Quinonez, an Olympic sprinter from Ecuador, was shot and killed.

Authorities confirmed that Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez was shot and killed in the port city of Guayaquil, causing an outpouring of sadness in a country grappling with an increase in violence.

According to authorities, Quinonez, 32, and another person were discovered dead about midnight local time (0500 GMT) on Friday.

Ecuador’s President, Guillermo Lasso, has committed to prosecute his assailants.

“Those who murder Ecuadoreans will face severe consequences. We’ll use force if necessary “Lasso sent out a tweet.

The provincial governor has also promised to hold those responsible for the deaths accountable.

“No one will rest until the perpetrators are apprehended by @PoliciaEcuador. We are in the midst of a fight with drug cartels who seek to subjugate us “On Twitter, Pablo Arosemena, the governor of the province of Guayas, whose capital is Guayaquil, remarked.

Quinonez’s death was confirmed by the country’s sports ministry on Twitter, which paid tribute to “the best sprinter this country produced.”

The ministry stated, “We have lost a great sportsman, someone who allowed us to dream, who motivated us.”

Quinonez set the Ecuadorian 200-meter sprint record with a time of 19.87 seconds.

He finished eighth at the 2012 London Olympics after competing in the semi-finals in the same lane as Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest sprinter.

Quinonez’s death “leaves us with tremendous grief,” according to Ecuador’s Olympic Committee, adding his “legacy will forever stay in our hearts.”

On Saturday night, the sprinter’s body was scheduled to arrive in Esmeraldas, his hometown.

The athlete’s coffin will be placed in a burning chapel in a football stadium in the town on Sunday, according to the sports ministry.

Quinonez was assassinated at a time when violence in Ecuador has risen substantially in recent months. According to the authorities, about 1,900 killings occurred in the country between January and October this year, compared to approximately 1,400 in all of 2020.

On Monday, President Lasso declared a state of emergency across the country, which will last 60 days and require the military to police and search the streets.

Quinonez was preparing for a return to the track in the United States, with the goal of competing in the World Athletics Championships in Oregon next year.

Quinonez’s “unexpected departure,” according to the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee, “leaves significant sadness, but his legacy as the best sprinter in our history will always stay in our hearts.”

“I’m sorry for our dear #alexquinonez’s passing; my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones,” fellow Ecuadorian racer Richard Carapaz, who won, said. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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