Thiago Braz da Silva first Brazilian man to win Olympic gold in Rio

Gold: Thiago Braz da Silva (Brazil)
Silver: Renaud Lavillenie (France)
Bronze: Sam Kendricks (United States)

Brazil’s Thiago Braz da Silva bettered Renaud Lavillenie, the defending Olympic pole vault champion from France, much to the delight of the fans in Rio on Monday. He became the first Brazilian man to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio. 

Lavillenie cleared 5.98m (19 feet, 7 ½ inches) to break the Olympic record. Then Da Silva cleared 6.03m (19-9¼) to claim the gold medal and improve the Olympic record. 

American Sam Kendricks earned the bronze medal. It was the first Olympic medal for a U.S. man since 2004.

The competition ended around midnight in Brazil. Heavy downpour caused a 70-mintue delay. Then there was another delay caused by a mechanical issue with the motor that raises the pole vault crossbar. 

The women’s pole vault competition begins Tuesday. American Junn Suhr is the defending Olympic champion, but she is “quite ill,” according to a social media post from Rick Suhr, her husband and coach.