A bodybuilder who initially was ridiculed after botching an attempted backflip at a competition reportedly has died because of injuries suffered in the stunt.
Sifiso Lungelo Thabete’s attempt to entertain the crowd as he entered the arena went horribly wrong when he didn’t rotate far enough and landed on his head, breaking his neck.
The incident was caught on camera and footage showed several people coming to his aid after the initial shock of what happened left the audience stunned.
Thabete — who hailed from South Africa — had been playing to the crowd before a contest over the weekend. He walked out slowly toward the center of the gymnasium before breaking into a trot and waving his arms, encouraging spectators to cheer him on.
He ran into the center of the mat and launched into the backflip before hitting his head. Thabete lay motionless on his side before rolling onto his back.
The first man to attend to him lifted his legs up before several others joined in to help.
Video of the accident went viral before the severity of the damage was made public.
South African bodybuilding magazine Muscle Evolution said the bodybuilding community was “shocked and saddened” by the news of Thabete’s death.
The magazine reports he was an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Junior World Champion in the up-to-165-pound category who recently won an event at the IFBB Muscle Mulisha Grand Prix in July.