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Rider dies of heart attack during race at African Continental Track Championships

Egypt's Eslam Nasser Zaki, 22, fell suddenly while riding on his own during men's Omnium...

Racing was suspended on the opening day of the 2017 African Continental Track Championships in Durban, South Africa, after an Egyptian rider died of a heart attack while taking part in a race.

Eslam Nasser Zaki, aged 22, was taking part in the tempo race round of the elite men’s omnium at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Stadium in Durban earlier today.

Cycling South Africa, which is hosting the event, said that Zaki “was riding on his own when he suddenly fell off his bicycle and after prolonged attempts to resuscitate him, he was declared dead.”

It added: “Cycling South Africa expresses its deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the family and teammates of Eslam Nasser Zaki.

“Every effort is being made to assist the Egyptian Cycling Team during this very tragic period.”

Egyptian Cycling Federation president Wagih Azzam confirmed that Zaki had died of a heart attack but rejected suggestions in the country's media that he had suffered from a prior condition.

"Nasser felt some pain a while ago and endured a full check up in several hospitals and medical centres; all the reports confirmed that he is fully fit to play cycling as his heart, brain and nerves were in perfect shape," he said.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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