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Kitefoiler JJ Rice, 18, dies weeks earlier than Olympic debut | World Information

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Kitefoiler Jackson James Rice, who was gearing as much as characterize Tonga on the Paris Olympics, has died aged 18.

The athlete, who was referred to as JJ Rice, died on Saturday whereas free diving from a ship in Faleloa, on the island of Ha’apai within the Tonga archipelago.

His father Darren Rice confirmed his son’s loss of life to native information outlet the Matangi Tonga newspaper.

He stated {the teenager} died after a suspected blackout in shallow water. His physique was discovered on the seafloor beneath the boat at about 12.15pm by different divers.

Efforts to resuscitate him had failed, the newspaper reported.

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The kitefoiler was set to grow to be the primary Caucasian to characterize Tonga at an Olympic Video games.

He earned his place on the Olympic squad after ending eighth on the Sail Sydney occasion in December.

The game is certainly one of two new crusing disciplines set to debut on the Paris games and includes riders ‘flying’ above the water on hydrofoils connected to boards and powered by big kites.

They will attain speeds as much as 51mph, in response to the Royal Yachting Affiliation.

Kitefoiling is certainly one of two new crusing disciplines set to debut on the Paris video games. File pic: iStock

‘Most wonderful brother’

Rice was born within the US to British-born dad and mom however grew up on Ha’apai the place his dad and mom function a vacationer lodge.

He represented Tonga in a number of main crusing competitions, together with the System Kite World Championships and the World Crusing Championships.

He had just lately been coaching and competing in Europe.

Pic: Instagram/jj_rice
Pic: Instagram/jj_rice

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Paying tribute on social media, his sister Lily described her brother as an “wonderful kitefoiler”.

“I used to be blessed with essentially the most wonderful brother in the entire world and it pains me to say that he is handed away,” she stated in a Fb publish.

“He was a tremendous kitefoiler and he would have made it to the Olympics and are available out with a giant shiny medal. He made so many wonderful pals everywhere in the world.”

The Paris Olympics happen between 26 July and 11 August.

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