A Russian professional speed skater has died after reportedly being hit by a truck while out on a run during his 23rd birthday.
Ruslan Zakharov medalled at the Junior World Championships in 2017 and tragically passed away on his birthday in his hometown of Khabarovsk, as confirmed by the Russian Skating Union.
Zakharov was taken to intensive care after the accident but never regained consciousness.
He won 500m bronze at the 2017 championship in Helsinki and had been considered a prodigious talent early in his career.
He impressed in Finland and placed well at the Skating Union Junior World Championships while being a multiple champion in his home country of Russia.
The Russian Skating Union posted a statement to social media expressing their condolences.
“As a result of the tragic incident, the medallist of the Junior World Championships, the winner of the Junior World Cup in speed skating, multiple winner of the Russian Championship Ruslan Zakharov passed away,” the body said in a translated message.
“The Russian Skating Union expresses deep condolences to Ruslan’s family, friends and relatives.”
The International Skating Union also sent its sympathies to Zakharov’s family and friends in its announcements.
It was originally reported by mk.ru that the skater had died following a severe head injury sustained after being hit by the truck.
The incident is reported to have occurred at around 6:10am local time on Karl Marx Street on Sunday morning, according to Khabarovsk police traffic department.
“The driver, while driving a Toyota Dyna, made a collision with a pedestrian who was moving in the same direction on the carriageway in the presence of sidewalk,” the police said in a statement.