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Chinese pole vault star's Olympic medal dream ruined by heavy rain
   2016-08-17 04:01:30    Xinhua      Web Editor: Huang Shan

Xue Changrui of China reacts in the men's pole vault final of the Rio 2016 Olympic at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 15, 2016. Xue ranked the 6th in the final, while Brazil's Thiago Braz da Silva won the gold. [Photo: Xinhua]

China's top pole vaulter Xue Changrui saw his dream of winning an Olympic medal dashed amid heavy rain on Monday night.

Xue finished sixth in 5.65 meters as Brazilian Thiago da Silva clinched the title in an Olympic record of 6.03.

The 2014 Asian Games champion said he was drenched after he climbed out of the rain-soaked mat following his first attempt. Then he waited for an hour as the competition was interrupted by the downpour.

"The mat was already very wet at my first attempt. It was like a swimming pool. When I got out of the pool, water on my body began to evaporate quickly. I was losing heat and energy during the wait. It felt like my left arm is about to have a cramp," said the 25-year-old after his competition.

To make things worse, Xue's competition was halted for the second time when an equipment failure happened.

"I was worried, soaked and exhausted. I kept eating chocolate to provide energy," he said.

Xue made 10 attempts but could not make it higher than 5.65. He reached his personal best this year at 5.81.

Although Xue missed the podium, he already created the best result by any Chinese male pole vault at the Olympics.

Xue admitted that he has much room to improve to deal with difficult conditions which he faced at the Olympics. He set his goal at 6 meters.

"I want to have a good rest now. I need to keep training to improve my physical strength. I need to try higher with heavier poles. I also need to enhance my psychology quality," he said, "I will directly start with 5.60 meters in my next competition. I will not try with all the heights. I must raise the height of my trial jumps so that I can go for six meters."

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