Renaud Lavillenie (35), 2012 Olympic champion and five-time world medalist, but never outdoor gold, struggled to clear 5.65m, his entry bar, on the third and final try, before passing 5.75 m to the second, on the night of Friday to Saturday during the qualifications of the pole vault of the world athletics championships in Eugene (USA).
“I would have dreamed of an easier competition, 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. Before adding:
“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 ramp up, but I don’t want to get fired up either. »
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.
Duplantis serene, Lisek eliminated
Quiet entry for the Swede “Mondo” Duplantis, reigning Olympic champion and world record holder (6.20 m), with two bars erased at 5.65 m and 5.75 m 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 the night of Sunday to Monday, at 2:25 a.m. (French time).