50 days after breaking his neck in practice, gymnast Brijesh Yadav succumbed to his injuries. The 17-year-old went through two complex surgeries but his respiratory system could not be fixed. It’s a sad end to what was a promising career for the national-level silver medallist.

Brijesh was injured on 11th October while practicing the double front flip at a gymnasium in Agra. He was training for the nationals, hoping to better his silver.

Coaches and fellow gymnasts were particularly admired for his determination and drive to succeed. He was injured on his fifth attempt at the routine, and fell after losing his balance.

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar had posted a video as well, urging Brijesh to recover:

A Times Of India report quotes one of his coaches Arvind Yadav as saying that even though “he landed on a soft mat, his neck got twisted.” It also says that 80% patients who suffer such an injury die on the spot – but Brijesh fought for almost two months.

“When he was brought to the hospital, his condition was very serious. He was paralyzed below neck. The injuries damaged the respiratory centres. The surgeries were successful but we could never take him completely off ventilator due to damage to the respiratory centres. After some time, he developed infections and it further affected respiratory recovery, which ultimately led to his death. The country has lost a talented young gymnast,” Dr Arun Bhanot (chief of spine surgery, Paras hospital), told the Times of India.

The news is a massive blow for the sport, especially after Dipa Karmakar’s heroics at Rio 2016 had inspired many to take it up.

Click here to read the full report.

Feature image source: