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German Olympic canoe coach dies after taxi crash

A German canoe slalom coach died on Monday after he suffered serious head injuries in a taxi accident at the Rio Olympics, team officials said.

German Olympic canoe coach dies after taxi crash
Stefan Henze. Photo: DPA

Stefan Henze, 35, a former world champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist, died in hospital surrounded by close family members.

German flags will be flown at half-mast at Olympic sites on Tuesday in honour of Henze, who was travelling from the canoe slalom venue in a taxi when the accident happened in the early hours of Friday.

“We are endlessly sad on this day. Words cannot describe what we as the Olympic team feel after this terrible loss,” said German Olympic committee president Alfons Hoermann.

Henze's family released a statement saying: “We know Stefan's own Olympic thoughts live on in a lot of people.”

Henze needed emergency surgery after Friday's crash and doctors had described his condition as life-threatening.

Christian Kading, a sports scientist who works with the team, was also in the taxi but he was not seriously hurt.

“Today the sport for which our whole team came to Rio de Janiero is at the back of our minds,” said chef de mission Michael Vesper.

“Our thoughts are with Stefan Henze's relatives who had the possibility to say goodbye here.”

The German delegation will also hold a service for Henze in the athletes' village on Tuesday.

An International Olympic Committee statement said: “The IOC mourns the death of a true Olympian.”

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UKRAINE

German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Germany has scuppered Nord Stream 2 but there are questions left to answer

Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

READ ALSO: Germany set to shut airspace to Russian planes on Sunday

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