A champion Korean cyclist was killed after being hit by a pickup truck while practising on a road in Thailand.
Eom Se-beom , 20, has recently taken gold at the Asian Track Championship where he set a new junior record in October last year.
He arrived in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, with the Korean national junior bicycle team for training on the tough mountain roads.
But during the a morning training session on Wednesday (Jan 29) he was cycling uphil hill when a pickup truck came round a round and clattered into him.
Eom Se-beom, from the city of Yongin in South Korea, lost consciousness after the head-on collision at the scene. Teammates performed CPR but he died on the way to the hospital in the nearby town.
Devastated friends paid tribute to the ”future Olympic star” and said he had been a ”true champion” who achieved a lot during his life.
Writing online they said that Eom Se-beom’s dream had been to represent his country at the Olympics and he had ”made everybody proud by being so successful”.
The Korean Bicycle Association told police that the deceased was the leader of the pack that morning, with his teammates tailing him by 100ft to 164ft intervals each.
He was the first cyclist to enter the curve, which meant that there were no witnesses at the scene and the pickup truck did not have an onboard camera installed.
The athlete’s friends and the South Korean ambassador later went to the police station asking for an investigation as they believed the accident happened due of the pickup driver’s careless driving.
Montri Hanjai, the director of Chiang Mai’s provincial sport association, said officials in the area were unaware of the Korean team’s training schedule or routes.
He said: “Firstly, I want to give our condolence to the deceased cyclist’s friends, family and the Korean cycling team.
“But the team came here without notifying us so we did not clear the traffic for them because we did not know about their training schedule.
“However, when I heard about the accident I stepped in and helped to coordinate with the police and hospital.”