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Matthew Centrowitz recalls being near Australian theme park tragedy

Athletics - Olympics: Day 15

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: Matthew Centrowitz of the United States reacts after winning gold in the Men’s 1500 meter Final on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK -- Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz was at the Australian theme park Dreamworld when a water rapids ride malfunctioned, resulting in the deaths of four people on Oct. 25.

Centrowitz initially tweeted about being on the ride shortly before it malfunctioned, but he said Thursday night that he was misinformed at the time.

“I got off the ride, and ambulances and police cars kind of rushed to the area of the scene,” Centrowitz said before the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame Gala at the Armory. “I was walking out of there, actually. A couple of ladies that were passing by said that there was a couple of people that were just stranded on the ride. That’s all we knew at the moment, at the time. Prematurely, I kind of tweeted about it being the ride I was on and not knowing, I think, about how serious the people and what was going on, really.

“Actually, it didn’t end up being that ride. It was the ride right next to it. The ladies that told me it was that one didn’t know, either. Still, once I found out four people passed, obviously I took it a little more serious. Obviously, my prayers and thoughts still go out to those victims involved. It was a tragic accident.”

Centrowitz, celebrating his 27th birthday in October, was vacationing in Australia.

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