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Olympic pole-vault champ commits suicide

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09:24 CEST+02:00

Olympic gold medallist, Pierre Quinon, has killed himself, the French Athletics Federation announced on Thursday.


"The news was confirmed to me by family members," said the federation's president Bernard Amsalem.

49-year-old Quinon won gold in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, a year after breaking the world record with a jump of 5.82 metres.

According to a source quoted by AFP and reported in local newspaper Var Matin, "he jumped head first through a window from a height of five metres."

"He was depressed, he'd been taking pills and was not himself," the source said.

Fellow Olympic pole-vaulting champion Jean Galfione, who won gold at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, told newspaper Libération he had seen Quinon a month ago.

"He was a sensitive person. He'd been going through a difficult period," he said. "We knew he could be excessive, particularly when it concerned himself."

Quinon's success at the Los Angeles games was the first time a Frenchman had won Olympic gold in the event. After a series of injuries he eventually retired in 1992.

After retirement, he moved to the town of Hyères on the Mediterranean coast where he opened a restaurant. He had recently been involved with preparations for the 2015 World Masters Athletics in Lyon.


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