Pain, a lot of pain, was the feeling that was experienced this Wednesday at the San Adrián athletics track during the farewell to Hamza Bouazzaoui, the 19-year-old who died on Tuesday night, run over on the bridge over the Ebro, when he was cycling home. The young man, current under-20 cross champion of Navarra and a promise of Navarre athletics, was run over by a tourist when he returned from work in Calahorra (La Rioja).
More than 300 people came to the slopes of San Adrián to share the last goodbye with the family, before his repatriation to Morocco, to the town of Berkane, where he was born. The call made by the San Adrián Athletics club itself, where he started running when he was 6 years old, brought together friends, neighbors and colleagues from the Adrian club and Ribera Atletico, where he had been playing for three years.
On a small table, in the middle of the tartan, a photo of Bouazzaoui competing had been placed, several of the shirts he wore, one of the many trophies he achieved and also the condolences of the club itself and those that the Minister of Culture had sent and Sports, Rebeca Esnaola. Fernando Litago and Paco Munoz, current president and former president of Ribera Atletico, brought a flower arrangement.
Moments before starting, Khalid Ennaki Latian , president of the Islamic Community in San Adrián, made up of 120 families, acknowledged that the death of the young man had been a very hard blow for all of them. “It was an example to follow. His greatest dream was to be able to help his family. From the Community and from the family itself we want to thank all the expressions of affection that they have sent us. Parents need a lot of support right now. ”
The arrival of Rabha Aissaoui, mother of Hamza Bouazzaoui, broken with pain, who was walking almost on the loose, supported by friends and one of the daughters, broke the silence of the attendees. Through tears, Aissaoui hugged the photo of her son and then knelt to kiss and caress the plaid where he trained for 13 years.
Unable to contain the emotion, Julián León , president of the Athletics of San Adrián, thanked the attendance at the tribute. “He joined the club in 2008, when it was created. Since then, we have seen him grow as a person and as an athlete. We have lost one of our references. It was a banner. We have received condolences from many places, from his teammates and from his rivals ”. Later, Tono Sádaba Esparza, his coach since he was 6 years old, intervened. “It was a tremendous blow. Hamza was a very special person, who became a reference for everyone, especially for the little ones. With him we learned that with effort and work success comes ”.
Then the attendees observed a minute of silence. The father of the deceased young man, Meloude El Bouazzaoui, joined in the last moments of the tribute. As Julián León explained, he had just arrived from Bilbao, where they were making arrangements with the Moroccan consulate for the repatriation of the body. “He transferred his thanks to all of you who have approached me and added that, in a few days, a prayer will be held in the mosque.”