Thiago Braz da Silva

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 26 (IANS) Brazil’s Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz da Silva has received a one kilogram gold bar from his former club as a reward for his triumph at the just concluded Rio Games here.

The 22-year-old won Brazil’s first ever Olympic pole vault gold medal beating France’s defending champion Renaud Lavillenie with an Olympic record leap of 6.03 metres, reports Xinhua.

“This is really important to me. 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 on Thursday after receiving the gift from Sao Paulo-based club BM&FBOVESPA.

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 on Thursday.

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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