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Fourth-Place Medal

Video: Pole vaulter’s pole snaps during jump at world champs

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

Every time I watch the pole vault, I marvel at how much the thin, 15-foot poles are able to bend in order to withstand the weight of the athlete being propelled high into the air. The process of making the approach, placing the pole in the small plant, propelling into the air, having the pole bend just enough to get an athlete over the bar and falling safely to the pit is one of the more remarkable scenes in sports.

Unfortunately for Dmitry Starodubtsev, it doesn't always work out that way.

The Russian was attempting a jump of 5.75 meters (a little less than 19 feet) Monday at the IAAF World Championships in South Korea when his pole snapped in half mid-jump.

The Russian injured his hand in the fall and had to withdraw from the competition. Watch that clip a few times and you'll realize he was lucky his hand was the only thing that got hurt.

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