By Gene Cherry

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Reigning Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr has contracted a serious virus in Rio de Janeiro that could affect her jumping, her husband and coach Rick Suhr said on Twitter on Monday.

The American has no plans to withdraw from the competition which begins with the qualifying round on Tuesday.

"Jenn has fallen ill, quite ill in the last two days," Rick Suhr said. "This morning it has really kicked in, she has lost her voice almost completely."

Suhr said his wife, 34, had picked up a virus in Rio and it has caused respiratory complications.

"Seems so unfair. We came here in the greatest shape of our life. Four years of total dedication eaten up in one nasty virus that is only getting worse," he said.

"Hoping that the antibiotics and other meds given by our doctors help but this does not look good."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)