Olympic pole vaulter posts video of graphic injury at practice: ‘Messed up all my teeth’

Japan 2020

Harry Coppell, seen here during the Muller British Athletics Championships in England earlier this year, shared video of the gruesome incident to social media. (Ashley Allen/Getty Images)


(NEXSTAR) – British athlete Harry Coppell vaulted into the spotlight this week, but probably not for the reason he was hoping.

Coppell, a member of Team Great Britain, was training on July 21 ahead of next week’s track and field events when he vaulted and didn’t quite clear the bar, knocking it loose and sending it slamming into his face.

“Got some good vaulting done tonight at the @teamgb holding camp,” he wrote in Twitter thread shared shortly after the incident. “HOWEVER… The bar then fell on my face and messed up all my teeth. I hope @tokyo2020 has a good dentist around.”

Coppell documented the injury online, sharing footage of the failed jump along with a slow-motion video that captured the exact moment of impact.

Warning: Tweets contain graphic footage, imagery

He also tweeted an image of himself smiling widely to showcase what appeared to be at least one broken tooth.

Fans on social media wished Coppell a speedy recovery, but it was fellow vaulter Sam Kendricks of the U.S. who really softened the blow.

“Don’t worry bro,” he told Coppell on Instagram. “I knocked out 4.”

“If I’m as gorgeous as you I’ll live,” Coppell joked back.

Coppell has since confirmed to CNN that he ultimately needed one of his teeth removed, as it was “fractured at the root.” He’ll likely be wearing a retainer during competition, he added.

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