Belgian decathlete Thomas van der Plaetsen suffers brutal leg injury, fall in long jump

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Belgium’s Thomas van der Plaetsen suffered a brutal injury during the long jump in the decathlon on Wednesday at the Tokyo Olympics, and had to be taken out of the stadium in a wheelchair.

Van der Plaetsen appeared to injure his right leg just as he made his final plant to jump into the pit — which caused him to pull out of the jump in mid-air and then land sideways in the sand.

Van der Plaetsen remained down for some time while medical staff came in to help. He was eventually taken out of the stadium in a wheelchair.

It’s not clear what injury he sustained specifically, though he did not receive a score in the long jump — meaning his decathlon run is almost certainly over.

The long jump was the second of 10 events in the decathlon. Van der Plaetsen finished fourth in his heat but 17th overall in the 100 meters. He won the decathlon at the European Championships in 2016, and took eighth place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Medical staff attend to Thomas van der Plaetsen of Team Belgium at the Tokyo Olympics
Thomas van der Plaetsen had to be taken out of the stadium in a wheelchair at the Tokyo Olympics in Wednesday. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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