SANA’A -A Yemeni athlete has drowned while he was trying to reach Spain via a small boat from Morocco, media sources reported.
The Yemeni embassy in Spain announced on Thursday evening that Yemeni Olympic athlete in the discipline of Kung-Fu Wushu, Hilal Ali Mohammed al-Hajj, drowned in the waters of the Atlantic, while trying to emigrate to Spain.
The embassy added that it had officially received the body of the Yemeni Olympic athlete from the Spanish authorities.
Sports sources revealed to the Yemen Press Agency that al-Hajj left Yemen about 8 months ago to make for Egypt and then to Algeria and Morocco in search of a decent living after the living situation of his family and many Yemeni families worsened due to the Saudi-led aggression and the brutal siege on Yemen. His story ended with death by drowning in the Atlantic as he tried to reach Spain.
Hilal al-Hajj was an example of a committed and hardworking athlete, a person with high morals, who reaped many achievements, yet died far away from his family and homeland.
Yemeni champion Hilal al-Hajj won a bronze medal at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Olympics in Azerbaijan in 2017, as well as several medals at the Arab and Asian levels, representing Yemen in several sporting event.
Al-Hajj’s story is similar to that of Yemeni sports journalist Mohamed Al-Ahdal, who drowned after a boat he was travelling on sank with dozens of young people of different Arab nationalities aboard, while trying to emigrate to Spain, off the coast of the Shalif state in Algeria