LONDON, England, April 16- The International Association of Athletics Associations led the chorus of condemnation along from the worldwide athletics community following the is shocking and appalling tragic events that occurred in Boston on the occasion of the city’s annual Marathon.
“The sport of athletics offers its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured in this horrendous incident.
“While the cause of the explosions is yet to be confirmed, the IAAF condemns this outrage,” the world governing body posted on their website following the terror attack that left three dead and 100 injured.
Distance running greats Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe were among those stunned by the twin blasts on Monday.
“Horrified to hear news of bomb explosion near Boston marathon finish,” Britain’s Radcliffe said on Twitter before the extent of the damage was known.
“Situation looks awful, thoughts with everyone,” the fastest women’s marathoner in history added later. “There are some very sick people out there, who would do something like this?”
Ethiopia’s Gebrselassie deplored what marathon organizers said was a bomb attack, although law enforcement officials did not immediately confirm the cause of the explosions.
“Running brings people together, but what just happened in Boston is terrible,” he said on Twitter. “My thoughts are with everybody in Boston.”
Race organizers said on Facebook that “two bombs” exploded near the finish line, without providing a source for the information.
“We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened,” the Boston Athletic Association said.
Elite race winners Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya had already donned the traditional olive wreaths awarded the victors of the venerable race and departed when the explosions sent terrified runners, spectators and event workers fleeing.
Police did not immediately say whether the explosions were part of a terrorist attack, but marathon organizers said it was a twin bombing and media outlets reported that other unexploded devices had been found nearby.
“Very sad news about Boston, thinking of everyone whos been affected by it,” Tweeted British Paralympic athlete David Weir, a six-time winner of the wheelchair division of the London Marathon and a multiple gold medallist at the Paralympic Games.
Joel Laine, head of the Paris Marathon which passed off peacefully earlier this month, told AFP he feared the explosions would have a chilling effect on the runners scheduled to compete in the London Marathon on Sunday.
“There will be without doubt a climate of suspicion for a good while surrounding these type of events. I am thinking notably of the London Marathon,” Laine said. “I am thinking of the anxiety this will instill in the competitors and their families.”
London Marathon organisers said they would review their security arrangements, but chief executive Nick Bitel said the race would go on.