Olympic sprinter Alex Quiñónez, 32, shot dead in Ecuador

Alex Quinonez poses during the medal ceremony at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar in 2019. Credit: AP

Olympic sprinter Alex Quiñónez has been shot dead in Ecuador, police said.

Quiñónez, 32, became a national hero in 2012 when he reached the 200m final at the London Games, finishing seventh in a race won by Usain Bolt.

Guayaquil-based newspaper El Universo reported that Quiñónez was fatally shot on a street in the port city of Guayaquil at around 9.20pm on Friday.

It was also reported that another man was killed. There were no immediate arrests.

Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso vowed that the killing “will not go unpunished”.

The athlete’s death was also confirmed by the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee in a statement on Saturday. It said the circumstances of his death “have not yet been clarified”.

Alex Quinonez wins the gold medal in the men's 200m during the athletics at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in 2019. Credit: AP

Quinonez won bronze in the 200m at the 2019 world championship in Doha.

Andrea Sotomayor, the secretary general of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee, expressed her sorrow and outrage on Twitter, decrying “so much evil”.

“I don’t have words to express the sadness, helplessness and indignation that is overwhelming me,” she wrote.

“Alex Quiñónez was the synonym of humility and a clear example of resilience. His loss leaves us with pain in our chests.”

Guayaquil and other parts of Ecuador have been struggling with high levels of crime.

This month, Lasso decreed a state of emergency to confront drug trafficking and other crimes in Ecuador, saying the military and police will take to the streets to provide security.