Tunisian Olympic sailor Eya Guezguez has died at the age of 17 following a training accident in waters off the capital Tunis on Sunday.
Guezguez had made impressive progress in her fledgling career after being the youngest Tunisian at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, competing in the 49er FX category with her twin sister Sarra.
The pair were both aged 16 at the time and came bottom of their event in 21st position in Tokyo.
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The Tunisian Olympic Committee (CNOT) led the condolences for Eya, who said her death was “a tragedy in the sports scene.”
"I am shocked by the news of sailor Eya Guezguez's death," said the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
"She was an inspiring talent and role model for her athletes' generation.
"Eya Guezguez's participation at Tokyo 2020 alongside her twin sister Sarra will continue to motivate girls everywhere. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and the Olympic community in Tunisia."
The CNOT reported that Guezguez died as she prepared for upcoming regional and international competition.
Eya and Sarra’s dinghy capsized in bad weather and strong winds, and CNOT president Mehrez Boussayan told local radio the sisters’ coach was alongside them in a speedboat at the time.
The coach was able to help Sarra escape from the tangled rigging, but could not revive Eya after attempting CPR.
Eya was then pronounced dead due to drowning after her arrival at hospital.
There is plenty of anger in the Tunisian sporting community, with big questions being asked concerning the standards of safety equipment.
An investigation has been launched into what happened, with the tragic incident taking place a few hours before Muslims broke their fast on the ninth day of Ramadan.
A CNOT statement read: "May God have mercy on the deceased, grant her eternal rest in paradise, and grant her family and relatives and the entire sports family a beautiful patience and solace.”
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