Albanian record-holding swimmer Klavio Meca has died at the age of 24, according to Albanian media.
The Albanian Daily News reports that Meca died on Sunday. That outlet does not report a cause of death, and Albanian newspaper Gazeta SOT reports that the cause of death is not yet known.
Meca competed for Albania at the 2017 World Championships. Meca was one of four swimmers in Albania’s delegation to that meet, which took place in Budapest, Hungary. Meca finished 45th in the 400-meter freestyle and 65th in the 200-meter freestyle. His time of 4:04.03 in the latter event set a national record for Albania, and that record still stands.
Meca also remains in Albania’s national record books as part of a 2014 mixed 4×50 freestyle relay in short course meters. Meca led off that relay in 26.31, helping set a national record of 1:51.24 at the 2014 Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. That relay finished 21st.
Meca swam collegiately in the United States at NCAA Division II Bridgeport University. In 2016, his first season of college swimming, he won Metropolitan Championships titles in the 500 yard free (4:31.62) and 1650 yard free (15:52.02)
Albania’s National Olympic Committee (KOKSH) publicly mourned Meca in a statement this week. Per the Gazeta SOT, here is what the Olympic committee wrote:
“Unbelievable news came to us like a bomb for the death of the Albanian athlete Klavio Meca at the age of 24. We find no words to express the great pain … We remember that the swimmer Klavio Meca, had a series of sporting achievements while we note that in Budapest, Hungary has set a new national record in the 400 m freestyle with a total time of 4’04 “03. He was an excellent boy with exemplary demeanor and sporting discipline. in peace champion! We will miss you … “