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Canadian Olympic runner dies in swimming accident

Daundre Barnaby, right, makes his way to a win in the 400-metre as he runs beside third place finisher Daniel Harper at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Calgary, Alta., on June 29, 2012.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
March 28, 2015 - 5:07 AM

OTTAWA - Canadian runner Daundre Barnaby has died in a swimming accident at a national team training camp in St. Kitts.

Athletics Canada says he was swimming recreationally with teammates when he disappeared.

Rob Guy, chief executive officer of Athletics Canada, said Barnaby was "an outstanding athlete and an even better young man."

"This is such a sad and profound loss," he said in a statement.

A 400-metre specialist from Brampton, Ont., Barnaby was born in St. Ann, Jamaica. He became a Canadian citizen in 2012 and competed for Canada at the London Olympics that same year.

Barnaby ran NCAA track for Mississippi State. He last represented Canada at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

There was an outpouring of grief on social media Friday as news of his death spread.

Mississippi State's track team tweeted: "Please keep the family of Daundre Barnaby in your thoughts and prayers. Sad day for MSU Track & Field. He was an Olympian and All-American."

"My heart breaks for Daundre Barnaby's family," wrote Canadian middle distance runner Kate Van Buskirk. "The @CityBrampton, @AthleticsCanada and T&F communities will miss you. . ."

Sprinter Alicia Brown wrote: "Sending my prayers to the family, friends, teammates and coaches of Daundre Barnaby. My heart is heavy #RIP."

Dontae Richards-Kwok, a member of Canada's men's 4x100 relay team tweeted: "Please pray for the family of Daundre Barnaby."

According to an Athletics Canada spokesman, Barnaby was pulled out by a riptide. His body was found by search and rescue personnel in a deep area of water close to the beach. Other Canadian team athletes were swimming with Barnaby and attempted to save him.

Barnaby's mother and brother were expected to arrive in St. Kitts on Saturday.

Athletics Canada is also sending a grief counsellor to St. Kitts to provide support for the athletes, coaches and staff.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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