(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Dieter Strack, 74, was immediately taken to a nearby hospital after he was hit by a 15-year-old competitor’s throw. He died early Monday morning, police spokesman Andre Hartwig told the Associated Press.

“The popular and experienced sports judge was the victim of a tragic accident while carrying out his duties on Aug. 26,” the athletics association for Dusseldorf and Neuss said in a statement on its Web site. “All of us who were there are horrified and in shock.”

The athlete who threw the javelin is receiving psychological counseling, Hartwig said.

In 2007, French long jumper Salim Sdiri was impaled by a stray javelin throw during the IAAF Golden League meet in Rome. Doctors initially believed he had no suffered any life-threatening injuries when he was hit in the back, but it was later determined that the javelin had penetrated his liver and torn his kidney.

The following year Utah Standard-Examiner photographer Ryan McGeeney was struck in the leg by a javelin while photographing a high school track and field meet. The wound required 13 stiches.

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