Russian athlete Margarita Plavunova has been found dead on the side of the road after going out jogging for a training session.

Plavunova, a champion hurdler, was discovered in the Morshansky District in the Tamblov Oblast region of western Russia. She was 25.

According to the regional athletics federation, Plavunova suffered a cardiac arrest while training.

Local media reported that Plavunova's sudden death was likely caused by her heavy workload, while eyewitness reports state she fell into a grassy area during her time on holiday in the region.

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Local residents found her and called paramedics, who weren't able to save her.

Margarita Plavunova. Photo / Instagram
Margarita Plavunova. Photo / Instagram

Plavunova, who was also a model, was a multiple regional, Central Federal District and All-Russia champion, and also competed in the national championships.

She participated in both sprinting and hurdles, and was a student champion in the 60m hurdles.

The Tomsk State University sports graduate was born in Kotovsk and has a personal best time of 14.06 seconds in the 100m hurdles.

Plavunova's coach Elena Melnikova revealed that the preliminary autopsy suggests acute heart failure.

Plavunova's boyfriend and fellow athlete Pasha Sedykh confirmed her death and posted a picture of the two together on his Instagram.

She was not known to have struggled with any previous health problems.