30-year-old Thomas Van der Plaetsen was in excellent shape. He started the men's decathlon with 11:05 in the 100 metres, just 1 hundredth of a second above his personal best. "He was ready to go for it", pundits say. The Olympic Games could have become his highlight, after a career full of bad luck, including a battle against cancer.
Van der Plaetsen felt some pain in the back of his leg during the long jump, the second event, but decided to jump after all. Things went wrong during the jump, when he tore his hamstrings. He crashed in the sand pit where he was lying in the sand as he couldn't get up anymore, a dramatic end of his Olympic Games.
Tha damage in his right leg is huge. Van der Plaetsen sustained injuries in his right hamstrings, knee and foot. It is expected that it will take at least a couple of months to recover.