Germany’s 2013 pole vault world champion Raphael Holzdeppe faces a race to be fit for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after damaging ankle ligaments, he revealed on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old suffered the injury during his warm-up at the German indoor championships in Leipzig on Sunday.

A scan on Monday revealed tears in his ankle ligaments and he is out of the world indoor championships in Portland, USA, from March 17-20.

He is due to undergo surgery in Heidelberg on Monday.

The latest set-back will affect his chances for the European championships in Amsterdam from July 6-10 and qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics from August 5-21.

“My initial assumption to have only suffered small injury has been realised,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“Now I hope for a quick recovery to still be able to qualify for the Olympics.”

Holzdeppe, who took bronze at the 2012 London Olympic Games, won the world championships in Moscow in 2013 with a leap of 5.89m, then took silver in Beijing last year.

If fit for Rio, Holzdeppe would be going head-to-head with France’s world record holder Renaud Lavillenie, who cleared 6.16m in 2014, and reigning world outdoors champion Shawnacy Barber of Canada.





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