A Belgian decathlete was taken from the stadium in a wheelchair in Tokyo after suffering an awful-looking injury to his right knee.
Thomas Van der Plaetsen was competing in the long jump – the second event in the 10-stage competition – and appeared to pull up with a hamstring injury just before making his first jump.
The 2016 European champion then went back to the start of the run-up for another try, but badly hyperextended his right knee midway through his attempt before landing sideways in the sand.
Thomas Van der Plaetsen is in shock after badly injuring his right leg during the decathlon
The 30-year-old badly hyperextended his right knee and tumbled sideways into the sand
The 2016 European Champion grimaced after the painful injury and had to stop competing
Although he has not yet pulled out of the competition, Van der Plaetsen’s Olympics now looks set to be over as he was taken from the National Stadium after lengthy treatment, understandably emotional. He finished fourth in his 100m heat during the first decathlon event.
That the 30-year-old has made his second Games is remarkable considering he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 2014.
He managed to make recover in time to win decathlon gold at the Summer Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea in July 2015, with the competition comprising the world’s best student multi-sport athletes.
Van der Plaetsen has not yet pulled out of the Games – but his chances of medalling look over
His good form then continued the following year as he again won gold at the European Championships before placing eighth at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Since then, he has not managed to medal at a major competition, not completing the World or European Championships in 2017, before finishing sixth at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2018 and ninth at the 2019 World Championships.
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