TEESSIDE athlete Richard Kilty has paid tribute to a friend who drowned during the recent hot weather.

The Middlesbrough sprinter had just qualified for the semi-final of the 100m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this afternoon when he was interviewed by the BBC trackside and asked if he could say a few words about David Zikhali.

Mr Zikhali disappeared after getting into difficulty while swimming at around 7.40pm on Monday near the Infinity Bridge in Stockton.

A two-day search using specialist police divers resulted in the recovery of the 20-year-old’s body on Wednesday.

Kilty said today: "Commiserations to my good friend David Zikhali who drowned a couple of days ago and this Commonwealth Games and the whole of my 2014 season will be dedicated to him.

"Everybody at home on Teesside we are all grieving for David now. It's a very sad loss, he was a great lad and I would just like to say this season is dedicated to him."

Kilty came joint second in the 100m heats in a time of 10.34 seconds.