Athletics: Broken pole leaves vaulter Renaud Lavillenie with fractured thumb and out of Zurich meet

LYON (AFP, REUTERS) – Former Olympic pole vault gold medallist and ex-world record holder Renaud Lavillenie will undergo surgery on a fractured thumb and miss six weeks’ training after an accident in his back garden.

The London Olympic champion posted a smiling photo of himself on Twitter with a splint on his thumb and his back garden pole vault apparatus in the background.

“Following a broken pole in the garden this weekend, I had tests that revealed a broken thumb requiring surgery that will take place tomorrow,” wrote the Frenchman.

“Six weeks out, I’ll be back in action at the end of August.”

The 33-year-old will be unable to take part in the Zurich Diamond League event on July 9.

In May, Lavillenie enjoyed a happier experience on his own patch when he tied with current world record holder Armand Duplantis in the “Ultimate Garden Clash”. Both cleared 5m 36 times in half an hour.

He held the world record of 6.16m for nearly six years until it was beaten by the Swede in February by 1cm. Duplantis, 20, raised the mark to 6.18m a week later.

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