WELSH Olympian Shaun Pickering has died at the age of 61.
Pickering was a shot put bronze medallist for Wales during the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
He was also an Olympian at the 1996 Atlanta games, where he finished 27th.
Pickering’s best shot of 20.45 metres in 1997 still stands as a Welsh record and places him as sixth best in the across the UK.
He also held the Welsh record for hammer throw, with a best distance of 68.84m
Pickering later became UK Athletic’s national event coach for heavy throws.
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He was the son of the late BBC commentator Ron Pickering and former British Olympian Jean.
Team GB long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford led the tributes online.
Taking to Instagram, Rutherford said: “Incredibly sad news to wake up to.
“Shaun was a really good man and a pillar of the athletics community.
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“He will be deeply missed.”
In tribute, Welsh Athletics said: “Everyone at Welsh Athletics is sad to hear the news that ‘Hall of Fame’ inductee, multiple Welsh Champion and record holder Shaun Pickering has passed away.
“Our thoughts are with Shaun’s friends and family at this sad time.”
The Ron Pickering memorial fund, a charity aimed at helping aspiring British athletes which Pickering helped to build following his retirement, also paid a heartfelt tribute.
They said: “It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing today of our beloved Shaun Pickering.
“Shaun did so much for athletics and to carry on the amazing legacy of his parents Ron and Jean.
“All our hearts go out to Shaun’s family and friends at this dreadfully sad time 💔.”
British Athletics also added: ” Everyone at @BritAthletics is so saddened to hear this news today.
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“Shaun loved the sport passionately and cared deeply for athletes and his many friends across the sport.
“His work to continue the success of @RunforRon Fund supported so many athletes. RIP Shaun 🖤.”
Source: Athletics - thesun.co.uk