Russian para swimmer Alexander Makarov, who won three gold medals at last fall’s World Para Swimming World Championships, has died, World Para Swimming announced last week.
KXAN News reported that the 23-year-old Makarov was killed in a car crash March 5 in the town of Barabinsk.
Makarov made his international debut at the age of 17 the Eindoven 2014 European Championships, World Para Swimming said. The following year in Glasgow, at his first world championships, the Omsk native won two medals: a silver and a bronze. After that, Makarov won five medals at the 2016 European Open Championships in Portugal.
His breakout meet came in London last September, though. There, Makarov won the S2 50 and 1oo backstroke, as well as the 200 freestyle – every event he entered. He won the 50 back by over two seconds, the 100 back by over 4.5 seconds, and the 200 free by over 3.5 seconds.