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Lavillenie on top of the World

Renaud Lavillenie

Renaud Lavillenie has done it! And what a way to break the pole vault world record before the eyes of the previous holder, Sergey Bubka, at the Pole Vault Stars European Athletics Permit Meeting in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Saturday.

It was a comfortable clearance for the Frenchman with his first attempt at 6.16m showing that he can hope for more in the future as he attempted to go even higher but failed once at 6.21m before calling an end to his remarkable evening.

“To go over at 6.16m on the first attempt is just pure pleasure, it will surely take a while for me to come back down to earth,” he told BFMTV.

Earlier in the contest, he made it over 6.01m with his third attempt. It seems that he was just warming up for what was to become one of the greatest achievements the world of athletics has seen.

The previous outdoor world record of 6.14m was set by Bubka in 1994 in Sestriere, Italy, while the indoor world record 6.15m was also set in Donetsk by the Ukrainian legend in 1993.

Lavillenie was congratulated by Bukba, a native of Donestk, who was watching in the stands.

“I am not disappointed he broke my record, Renaud has written history for us tonight and I am so glad for him,

“It is also more meaningful that he made the record in my home, he’s a terrific athlete and a great person,” Bubka declared.

Expectations were high for the reigning Olympic and European champion heading into today’s competition with his 6.08m performance at his last outing in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz and the possibility of breaking the world record had come into greater focus.

With this jump Renaud Lavillenie has clearly established himself as the undisputed favourite for the rest of the season’s major competitions notably the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

However what we have learned from last year’s World Championships in Moscow is that no contest is won in advance and Lavillenie will still need to work hard to retain his title this summer.

source: European Athletics


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