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Olympic pole vault champion Da Silva receives 1kg gold bar as reward

Updated: 2016-08-26 11:08

Olympic pole vault champion Da Silva receives 1kg gold bar as reward

Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil celebrates after winning gold of men's pole vault final at Rio Olympics, Aug 15, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz da Silva on Thursday received a 1kg gold bar from his former club as a reward for his triumph at the Rio Games.

The 22-year-old won Brazil's first ever Olympic pole vault gold medal by upsetting France's defending champion Renaud Lavillenie with an Olympic record leap of 6.03 meters.

"This is really important to me," Da Silva said upon receiving the gift from Sao Paulo-based club BM&FBOVESPA. "I want to thank all of the people that have helped me throughout my career. The gold medal was also for Rio's public, who helped me so much."

Da Silva said he owed his start as a professional pole vaulter to Brazil's former world champion Fabiana Murer.

"When I came here in 2009 I didn't have a contract and she sponsored me, allowing me to stay in the team and in Sao Paulo," Da Silva said.

Meanwhile, Murer announced her retirement from the sport on Thursday after failing to advance beyond the first round at the Rio Olympics.

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