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French pole vaulter in tears over booing

2016-08-17 19:07
Renaud Lavillenie (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Olympics chief Thomas Bach has slammed the 'shocking' treatment dished out to French pole vault silver medallist Renaud Lavillenie by the Rio crowds.

Lavillenie was booed by a partisan home crowd during the pole vault final against local Brazilian favourite Thiago Braz da Silva on Tuesday.

Unbelievably, Lavillenie was booed again on the podium during the medal ceremony, despite Da Silva having already won the gold medal.

The 29-year-old Frenchman was visibly upset and in tears as he received his medal, and said afterwards he had "no words".

Bach said the crowd's behaviour was "unacceptable at the Olympics".

Lavillenie was later consoled by the Brazilian champion Da Silva, IAAF president Lord Coe and former Olympic and world pole vault champion Sergey Bubka.

"It's disgusting," said Lavillenie, "there is a total lack of fair play and I want to stress that the Brazilian is not involved at all."

Rio 2016 chief spokesman Mario Andrada said: "As citizens of Brazil and as sports fans, we don't think booing is the right attitude, even when you are in a one-to-one competition and a young Brazilian has the chance to beat the world champion.

"We plan to intensify our dialogue with Brazilian fans through social networks to make sure that we behave as fans in a proper and elegant manner, without losing the passion for sport."

This was far from the only incident involving booing inside the Olympic Stadium, with appeals for silence being made before each race on Tuesday.

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