May 10, 2014 (ISN) – Former Spanish long jumper Yago Lamela, an indoor and outdoor world silver medallist, has been found dead aged 36 at his parents’ house in his home town of Aviles.
Lamela, who suffered a serious Achilles tendon injury in 2004 and retired from the sport two years later, was reported by Spanish news website RTVE.es to have suffered from bouts of depression, and to have visited a psychiatric clinic in 2011.
“The Olympic family feels the pain of Spanish sport following the death of Yago Lamela, one of the best athletes in our history,” wrote the Spanish Olympic Committee on Twitter.
Lamela is probably best remembered for his swashbuckling performance at the 1999 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan, when he was involved in a gripping contest with the great Cuban jumper Ivan Pedroso.
The Spaniard had to settle for silver, but his best jump of 8.56 metres stood as a European indoor record for the next 10 years.
He equalled that distance outdoors in Turin later that year and then took the silver medal in front of a home crowd at the 1999 IAAF World Championships in Seville.
His performances in 1999 are still Spanish records.
In 2002 he won a European bronze medal in Munich, and a year later returned to his best form and took another silver medal at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham and then, later that year, a bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Paris.
“He was an introverted man but a born competitor. Goodbye to a great athlete,” wrote Spanish 20km walking star Paquillo Fernandez on Twitter.
Authorities have not disclosed the cause of his death.
There were no apparent signs of violence.