Austrian pole-vaulter who landed beside mat is paraplegic

INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) The Austrian athletics federation says the pole-vaulter who needed surgery after a fall beside the mat, is a paraplegic.

The federation says 21-year-old Kira Gruenberg broke her cervical spine while landing on her head and neck in a practice jump on Thursday.

The federation says ''the patient had to undergo surgery immediately to stabilize the cervical spine and to avoid further damage.''

A prognosis could only be given after further medical checks at University Clinic in Innsbruck over the next few weeks, the federation adds.

Gruenberg is Austria's leading pole-vaulter, who holds the national women's record of 4.45 meters. She achieved the feat twice at the European Championships - outdoors in 2014 in Zurich and indoors in Prague in March.

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