TOKYO (Reuters) – France’s Bassa Mawem withdrew from the final of the men’s climbing competition at the Tokyo Games after injuring his left arm during qualifying on Tuesday, the French Olympic Committee said.
The 36-year-old will be repatriated to France for surgery, a spokesperson for the committee said on Wednesday.
The withdrawal is a blow to the Frenchman’s dream of competing for the first Olympic climbing medals alongside his younger brother Mickael, who came out ahead of the eight athletes qualifying for Thursday’s final.
The committee said Bassa, the oldest climber at the Games, felt a sharp pain in his left arm that knocked him off the wall during the lead event of qualifying – the third and final event in the combined competition.
“After additional examinations at the competition site … the medical diagnosis is now known: Bassa Mawem suffers, according to this diagnosis, from a total rupture of the tendon of the lower biceps”, declared the spokesperson.
The German Alexander Megos, ninth in the qualifiers, will not replace Bassa in the final.
Bassa will come in eighth and will be marked as DNS (has not started), a spokesperson for the International Federation of Sport Climbing said.
The Frenchman was in first place after recording the fastest time in the opening sprint race, reaching a personal best of 5.45 seconds, narrowly missing the world record of 5.20.
But he couldn’t resolve any of the bouldering issues in the second round and came last in the lead after his crash, finishing qualifying in seventh place overall.