Madrid, July 13 (IANS) Spanish pole vaulter Didac Salas’ last chance of booking a Rio Olympic berth were dashed when his baggage was lost during his flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona.
Salas returned to Barcelona after failing to achieve the Olympic qualifying mark of five metres 70 cms in the blustery and difficult conditions at the European Championships in Amsterdam, reports Xinhua.
That failure left him with just one chance to make the qualifying standard: an event in Barcelona on Sunday, but he had not counted on the baggage handlers working for the airline ‘Vueling.’
Salas arrived safely in Barcelona, but his poles didn’t, meaning he had to compete using borrowed equipment.
“I was able to use a friend’s poles, but it isn’t the same because it is very personal and I didn’t feel comfortable… It’s a shame because I was feeling really good and confident beforehand,” he explained in sports paper, Marca after he failed to reach the necessary Olympic standard.
Salas explained that Vueling also lost the poles of fellow vaulters, Jorge Urena and Adrian Valles and although they appeared on Monday, by then it was too late for Salas.
“Maybe I will have the right to some compensation for the late arrival of luggage, but I lost my last chance to go to the Olympic Games and that is something you can not compensate for,” he lamented.