Tori Bowie death: Olympic medallist and former World Champion dies age 32 - is cause of death known?

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In 2016 Tori Bowie won 4x100m gold at Rio Olympics

American sprinter Tori Bowie has passed away at the age of 32 from complications of childbirth, an autopsy has revealed. Born Frentorish ‘Tori’ Bowie, the American from Mississippi had a personal record of 6.95m for the long jump which she set in 2014 but is best known for competing in the 100m and 200m for her country.

Bowie was the 2017 100m world champion and won three Olympic gold medals during her career. It has not yet been revealed how Bowie died but reports from TMZ have said the sprinter was found dead on Tuesday in Florida.

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Condolences poured in for the former track star with Jamaican Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price saying: “My heart breaks for the family of Tori Bowie. A great competitor and a source of light. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”

USA Track and Field have said that Bowie’s “impact on the sport is immeasurable” and added that she will be “greatly missed.”

Who was Tori Bowie?

Born in 1990, Bowie first began competing in track for the school and won two state high school championships in the 100m, 200m and long jump as well as three state titles in the 4x100m relay. The track and field star gained an athletic scholarship to attend University of Southern Mississippi and was two-time NCAA long jump champion, winning indoors and outdoors in 2011.

Bowie celebrates winning golf at 4x100m relay at Rio Olympics 2016Bowie celebrates winning golf at 4x100m relay at Rio Olympics 2016
Bowie celebrates winning golf at 4x100m relay at Rio Olympics 2016 | Getty Images

Her professional career began in 2013 at the USA outdoor Track and Field Championships. Bowie was a 100m semi-finalist and finished fourth in the long-jump. After winning the Diamond League races in Eugene, Rome, New York and Monaco in 2014, Bowie shifted her focus to the sprints and held personal bests of 10.78 seconds for the 100 metre and 21.77 for the 200 metre.

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She competed at the 2015 World Championships and went on to earn a bronze medal in the 100 m before placing third at the 2016 US Olympic trials. In the Summer of 2016, Bowie won the Olympic silver medal in the 100 m with a time of 10.83 and then went on to win bronze in the 200m and gold as a member of the 4x100m relay team.

However, it was a year later at the World Athletics Championship in London that Bowie won the gold medal in the 100m dash, becoming a World Champion with a time of 10.85 seconds.

When did she die?

News of Bowie's death was announced on Wednesday 3 May. World Athletics took to Instagram to say that it was “deeply saddened by the passing of Tori Bowie, the 2017 world 100m champion and multiple Olympic medallist. Condolences go out to her family and friends.”

What was the cause of death?

The world champion sprinter Bowie died from complications of childbirth, according to an autopsy report obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

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The report from the Orange County (Fla.) Medical Examiner Office said Bowie had a "well developed fetus," as she was estimated to be eight months pregnant and undergoing labour at the time of her death in May. Officials said possible complications Bowie had included respiratory distress and eclampsia, when a person develops seizures following a sudden spike in high blood pressure during pregnancy, according to Cleveland Clinic.

"Eclampsia typically occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. It’s rare and affects less than 3% of people with preeclampsia. Eclampsia can cause complications during pregnancy and requires emergency medical care," the Cleveland Clinic says. The manner of death was ruled natural, according to the medical examiner.

Her agent, Icon Management, has also said: “We’re devastated to share the very sad news that Tori Bowie has passed away. We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister. Tori was a champion...a beacon of light that shined so bright! We’re truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends.”

The Kenyan Olympian javelin thrower, Julius Yego, has also tweeted to pay tribute and has said: “So devastating and shocking to learn of the passing on of Tori Bowie. The world of athletics have lost a great champion and patriot of the sport, rest in peace Tori. Condolences to the greater family of Tori Bowie, together in prayers.”

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