Saturday December 04, 2021

Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter Quinonez shot dead

October 25, 2021

QUITO: Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez was shot dead in the port city of Guayaquil, authorities announced, sparking an outpouring of grief in a country struggling to contain a surge in violence.

Quinonez, 32, and another person were found dead close to midnight local time (0500 GMT) on Friday, according to police.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso promised to bring his killers to justice.

“Those who take the lives of Ecuadoreans will not remain unpunished. We will act with force,” Lasso tweeted.

The provincial governor likewise pledged accountability for the murders.

“No one will rest until @PoliciaEcuador captures the culprits. We are facing a war against drug gangs that intend to subdue us,” Pablo Arosemena, the governor of Guayas province, whose capital is Guayaquil, said on Twitter.

The country’s sports ministry confirmed Quinonez’s killing on Twitter, paying tribute to “the greatest sprinter this country produced.”

“We have lost a great sportsman, someone who allowed us to dream, who moved us,” the ministry said.

Quinonez held Ecuador’s record for the 200-meter sprint with a time of 19.87 seconds.

He was a finalist in the 2012 London Olympics, achieving seventh place after competing in the semis in the lane next to Usain Bolt, the fastest sprinter in history.

Ecuador’s Olympic Committee said the death of Quinonez “leaves us with profound pain” and that his “legacy will forever stay in our hearts.”