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Pole vaulter to miss Olympics after airline loses his pole
Posted on 16/07/2016

TransportSpain

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One low-cost airline has found itself in a spot of bother after it managed to lose Spanish athlete Didac Salas's pole vaulting equipment, just before qualifications for the Olympics.

Spanish pole vaulter Didac Salas has missed out on the chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, after budget airline Vueling lost his pole in Amsterdam. The 23-year-old was travelling between competitions when the carrier mislaid his equipment and was forced to compete with a borrowed pole.

High hopes

High hopes
© mezzotint123rf/123RF

The Spanish athlete had recently registered a 5.5-metre jump at the European Athletics Championships in the Dutch city on Saturday. Needing 10cm to secure Olympic qualification, his hopes were high for the competition in Rio later this summer.

His last shot at qualification was a competition in Barcelona but he arrived without a pole and only managed to register a jump of 5.35m with a substitute.

"Vueling sent me the pole the day after. It is bad luck, I didn't get the chance to try one last time," he said.

"I was able to use a friend's poles, but it isn't the same because it is very personal and I didn't feel comfortable. It's a shame because I was feeling really good and confident beforehand.

"Maybe I will have the right to some compensation for the late arrival of luggage, but I lost my last chance to go to the Olympic Games and that is something you cannot compensate for," he added.

It's not the first time airlines have lost Olympic equipment. In 2012, the Australian sailing team arrived in London for the Games crucially without their sails after Qantas accidently moved them to cargo. In 2006, Heathrow Airport also mislaid Paralympian Kate Horan's prosthetic leg.

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