Javelin accident kills German athletics official

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An official at an athletics event in the German city of Dusseldorf has died after being speared in the throat with a javelin.

The 74-year-old man was rushed to hospital after the accident on Sunday but died of his injuries.

The official, named locally as Dieter Strack, had gone to measure a throw but was hit by a javelin before it hit the ground, according to local media.

The competition was called off after the incident.

The 15-year-old competitor who threw the javelin is receiving psychological counselling, police spokesman Andre Hartwig told the Associated Press.

A statement on the website of the local athletics association identified the man as Mr Strack and said he was a "much-loved and experienced" sports judge.

"All of us who were there are horrified and in shock... We will always remember Dieter Strack," the statement said.

Occasional accidents occur in athletics disciplines such as the javelin and the hammer, but deaths are extremely rare.

In 2007, French long jumper Salim Sdiri was speared by a javelin at an athletics meeting in Rome and had to be taken to hospital for his injuries.

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