Ryazanov won bronze at worlds

Updated: October 20, 2009, 10:23 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

MOSCOW -- Russian gymnast Yury Ryazanov was killed in a car crash on Tuesday, five days after winning a bronze medal at the world championships, police said.

Ryazanov was driving on a highway to his home city of Vladimir, about 125 miles east of Moscow, when his car collided head on with another vehicle, a Russian gymnastics federation spokeswoman said. He died at the scene.

The 22-year-old had just returned home from the world gymnastics championships in London where he finished third in the all-around competition to claim Russia's first medal in the top individual event in a decade.

Ryazanov was one of Russia's most promising gymnasts, winning this year's national all-around title and finishing third at the European championships in Milan.

"This is very tragic news for Russian gymnastics," federation spokeswoman Natalia Kulagina said.

"He was one of our most talented young athletes who could have achieved many great things for our sport."

About 30,000 people died in road accidents in Russia last year, according to official figures.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.