Young athletics star killed in Haifa cycling accident
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Young athletics star killed in Haifa cycling accident

Noa Hayat, 20, who competed in many fields including triathlon, is mourned by friends including gold-winning runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter

Athlete Noa Hayat speaks to a Haifa local news channel (YouTube screenshot)
Athlete Noa Hayat speaks to a Haifa local news channel (YouTube screenshot)

Israeli athletes mourned a young star who was killed while cycling in Haifa Wednesday.

Noa Hayat, 20, competed in multiple fields, including cycling, running and triathlon. She won the Haifa Steps race the past four years.

The circumstances surrounding the accident are under investigation, but the 33-year-old driver of the car was detained by police for questioning.

Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, who won gold at the European Championships last week, mourned her friend Hayat, along with a photo of the two of them on the winners’ podium.

“I’m so shocked by the tragic news: my dear friend, an athlete who I enjoyed so much to train and race with, such a pure person, is gone by a disaster accident. Noa Hayat R.I.P,” she posted on Facebook.

I'm so shocked by the tragic news: my dear friend, an athlete who I enjoyed so much to train and race with, such a pure person, is gone by a disaster accident. Noa Hayat R.I.P ☹️ My condolences to the family.

Posted by Lonah Chemtai on Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Israel Athletics Association lauded her achievements.

“She was a triathlete with Maccabi Haifa who often took a place on the podium at Israel’s various athletics championships,” it said in a statement, “from the time she was a cadet until the Israeli women’s 5,000-meter race this past June when she won bronze.”

The Haifa Steps race issued a statement saying that she would be missed at future events.

“She will no longer smile at us shyly from the top of the podium,” said a post on the races’ Facebook page. “The most, modest and talented sportsperson who ever climbed the stairs of Haifa.”

The police report said that it appeared the driver of the car had made a left turn without yielding to Hayat, who crashed into the side of the car and was fatally injured.

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