ATHENS, Greece – World champion Tom Pappas (search) pulled out of the decathlon Tuesday after injuring his left foot while attempting a pole vault.
Pappas ran through his first attempt at 15 feet, 5 inches after limping the last few strides. He then went off to the side, pulled off his shoe and started to massage the lower part of his foot. Pappas got his foot rewrapped and tried to jog off the injury, but he packed up his poles and left the track after about 20 minutes.
Dr. Ed Ryan of the U.S. Olympic Committee (search) said Pappas had sustained an acute strain of the left foot. Pappas was being treated at the Olympic stadium.
An American of Greek heritage, Pappas was expected to be a star of the Athens Games. But he struggled through the first day and was fifth going into Tuesday. Through seven events, Pappas remained fifth and had a slim chance at getting a medal.
After being upset by Bryan Clay at the U.S. trials, Pappas split with his longtime coach Bill Webb to work with Brian Brophy and Kip Janvrin.