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Da Silva hails his surprise win that has Brazil pole dancing

By Matt Gatward

While Great Britain had Supersonic Sunday, it was to be a Magic Monday for Brazil.

The sudden golden emergence of Brazil's inaptly named Thiago Braz da Silva who, from nowhere, set a record of 6.03m to win the men's pole vault on Monday night - 10cms higher than he'd ever vaulted - means Rio has its posterboy.

Despite delays due to rain and strong wind which was playing havoc, causing problems raising the bar, all seemed normal in pole vault world with the defending champion, France's Renaud Lavillenie, on course to reclaim his title after clearing 5.98m. What happened next was far from normal on a dramatic evening.

Read more: Rio Olympics 2016: Live blog, full events schedule and medals tables

Da Silva, who is only the fourth Brazilian to win a track and field gold at an Olympics, decided to give 5.98 a miss and go straight for 6.03m. He hit the bar with his first go at 6.03m but sailed over with his second to send those in the stadium delirious.

Lavillenie then attempted to clear 6.08 to retake the lead. The noise - whistling, jeering, booing - was defeaning.

The Frenchman, clearly fazed by the atmosphere and making a thumbs down signal to the TV cameras, failed and Brazil had their golden moment after all thanks to the all but unknown boy from Sao Paulo.

"Incredible," said the 22-year-old Da Silva who was taking part in his first Games. "My first time over 6m. My home town wanted me to win."

The distraught Frenchman said he was "disturbed by the nastiness" of the atmosphere.

"There is no respect, no fair play. If there's no respect in the Olympics, where can we get respect? I'm very, very sad and disappointed by the Brazilian public that was in the stadium.

"Better to stay at home than come and whistle. At least then we'd have people in the stadium who want to watch sport. It really disturbed me, I felt the nastiness of the public and we do a sport where you never see that."

Belfast Telegraph


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