MILAN (AFP) - Former world rowing champion Filippo Mondelli, who helped Italy qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, has died aged 26 from bone cancer, the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) announced on Thursday (April 29).
Mondelli won the world quadruple sculls title in 2018 and was also a two-time European champion, in double sculls in 2017, and quadruple sculls the following year.
"Italian sport, stunned, mourns the untimely death of Filippo Mondelli aged 26 after a long battle with a bone pathology," Coni said in a statement.
Mondelli along with teammates Andrea Panizza, Luca Rambaldi and Giacomo Gentili had qualified Italy for the quadruple sculls in the Tokyo Games.
Coni president Giovanni Malago praised Mondelli as "a great champion, both in and out of the water, an example of skill and courage, a standard-bearer of the values that make the sporting world great."
The rower from Lake Como had been elected to Coni's National Council on April 13.
"It's a difficult moment for rowing, for me, for his boat mates, friends," said Italian rowing federation president Giuseppe Abbagnale.
"Filippo's was a career on the rise, this is the greatest injustice, his could be a career that seemed to be amazing, he was very committed, a boy with a very strong character."
Mondelli was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in his left leg a year ago and had undergone surgery.