Rio 2016: European Athletics chief takes swipe at Olympics crowd


European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen has criticised Rio 2016 spectators over their treatment of French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie.

The 29-year-old defending Olympic champion had to settle for silver on Monday after losing out to Brazil's Thiago Braz da Silva.

Lavillenie was left furious after being jeered by a partisan home crowd as he suffered a shock defeat.

And Hansen has now come out in support of the three-time European champion, expressing his confidence that Lavillenie will be well received at his home Diamond League meeting in Paris later this month.

He tweeted: "Congrats Renaud on winning a tough silver. I'm sure the crowd at @MEETINGPARIS will show u the love u deserve #Home."

Lavillenie made controversial comments comparing his treatment to that of American sprinter Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin in the wake of his loss - a reference for which he swiftly apologised.

"Yes, sorry for the bad comparison I made. It was a hot reaction and I realise it was wrong. Sorry to everyone," he tweeted.