Renaud Lavillenie is the only one of the three French pole vaulters entered to qualify for the final at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene (Oregon) on Friday, where Swedish favorite Armand Duplantis went through the qualifications with confidence. Lavillenie (35), 2012 Olympic champion and five-time world medalist, but never outdoor gold, battled to clear 5.65m, his entry bar, on the third and final try, before clearing 5.75m to the second.
“I would have dreamed of an easier contest but it doesn’t always go as planned. It was a little emotional lift. I made good jumps but I still have something to refine technically. Qualifying is tough, stressful, a separate competition“, he explained. “I hope to get a sixth medal! There is competition but there are very few who have been on the podium more than once. I’m on a surge, but I don’t wanna ignite no moreadded the Frenchman.
His younger brother Valentin, injured in the left leg a month ago at the French Championships in Caen, did not cross any bar (three failures at 5.50 m). And the French champion Thibaut Collet failed three times at 5.75m, ultimately the height at which qualification for the final was decided. Quiet introduction for the Swede “mondoDuplantis, reigning Olympic champion and world record holder (6.20m), with two bars erased at 5.65m and 5.75m on his first attempt. The outdoor world gold is the only one missing from his already stellar record at 22.
Elimination on the other hand of the Polish triple world medalist Piotr Lisek, ejected from the competition from 5.50 m. The pole vault final is scheduled for Sunday afternoon (02:25 in the night from Sunday to Monday French time).
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