Pole vaulter suffers horror injury after nasty fall leaves him with 18 stitches

An American pole vaulter has told how he was left needing 18 stitches after his pole shot through his shorts and straight into his “scrotum”.

Zach McWhorter was undergoing his usual pole vault training and filming his efforts on popular app TikTok.

But things soon went wrong with the 21-year-old suffering a horror injury that ripped through more than just his shorts

McWhorter, who attends Brigham Young University in Utah, cleared the bar with ease during his session however fell straight onto the pole that vaulted him up high.

As the 21-year-old came tumbling back to earth, the pole went straight into his testicles.

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Thankfully McWhorter’s coach, who is also his father and a urologist, was on hand to rescue the young athlete and take him to hospital.

"I could see right into my scrotum," he told BuzzFeed.

"Immediately after the incident, we got in his car and drove to the hospital and he sewed me up. It required 18 stitches!

"Fortunately, as far as I know, there is nothing wrong with my testicles – just a scar. One day, we'll find out if they function or not."

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Pole vault is a dangerous sport with athletes falling from heights in excess of 5m.

“The sport is inherently dangerous because you run at full speed, almost 100-meter sprint with a 15- to 17-foot fiber glass pole in your hand, then you’re bending it, trying to get upside down to clear a bar in the air,” said Chris Hord, an assistant pole vault coach.

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While pole vaulter Caleigh Boyington added: “You’re falling from the highest when you pole vault, so it’s easier to get hurt, unlike the other field events where you don’t go anywhere.”

But McWhorter did have some advice on how to not sustain the injury he did.

“Don't free ball (wearing cross country shorts without spandex),” he added and "always put a cap on the end of the pole."

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  • London

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