Athletics-Lavillenie vaults to another major title win

Sat Mar 7, 2015 3:42pm EST
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By Jan Lopatka

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie, the new master of the pole vault, added another title to his burgeoning collection as he retained his European Indoor Championship crown but failed to break his own world record.

The Olympic champion sealed victory with a championship record 6.04 meters vault at the second attempt, after he had quickly wrapped up victory with vaults of 5.75m and 5.90m.

With victory assured, he had the bar raised to 6.17m in a bid to top the record of 6.16m -- the best vault ever recorded, either indoors or out -- that he set in Donetsk a year ago.

Lavillenie did not come close but victory meant the 28-year-old added a fourth straight European Indoor title to the golds he won at the London Olympics and world indoor championships in 2012 and his three European titles outdoors.

"I'm really happy," said Lavellenie, who has his sights set on flying even higher in a pole vault career which is beginning to feel as dominant as Sergei Bubka's once was.

"I was lacking a bit of energy and only 99 percent is not enough for a world record but it was still one of my highest jumps ever. I don't want to have any limits. Maybe 6.20, maybe more."


Renaud Lavillenie of France celebrates winning the men's pole vault event during the IAAF European Indoor Championships in Prague March 7, 2015.   REUTERS/David W Cerny