French gymnast Samir Aït Saïd suffered a horrific double leg fracture at the Rio Olympics on Saturday as shocked rivals questioned the scoring system which pushes competitors to try increasingly dangerous moves.
The 26-year-old snapped the lower part of his left leg landing badly while competing in the vault in the men’s qualifying at the Rio Olympic Arena. The French delegation later confirmed he had suffered a double tibia and fibula fracture.
Aït Saïd fell to the mat in agony clutching the back of his knee and the lower part of his leg, which visibly flopped to one side to gasps of horror from the crowd.
He was treated by medical staff for several minutes before being stretchered off to applause from the crowd.
We’re still overcome by emotion, it’s unexpected, dramatic,” French national team director Corinne Callon said.
“I am proud of the team, there were still three rotations and they did well to finish, they managed to regroup and now they’re overcome.”
It is the second Olympic blow for the gymnast from Antibes who missed the London Games because of a knee injury.
Fellow gymnasts were visibly shocked.
“I was warming up when I saw it on TV,” said Germany’s Fabien Hambuechen, a silver medallist from London 2012 on the horizonal bar.
The German team were also reeling after national all-around champion Andreas Toba was forced out earlier with a knee injury.