Lavillenie is flying high again

Lavillenie is flying high again
Getty Images

Renaud Lavillenie is back in training and will target the Lille 2017 European Athletics Team Championships on his way to the IAAF World Championships in London.

Six weeks after being forced to end his indoor season because of injury, Renaud Lavillenie could not be more optimistic about what lies ahead.

The French pole vault superstar has revealed how he is back to his normal training routine, planning for a summer which will include representing his country at home in Lille at the European Athletics Team Championships before aiming for the one gold medal missing from his set at the IAAF World Championships in London in August.

“It's been a long time since I had not done a session like today…What a pleasure!,” he said this week in a social media video about his return to the pole vault.

He had been set for an amazing assault at a fifth successive gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade at the start of this month before cutting his winter short after a number of injuries including a quad and hamstring problem.

But he is where he wants to be again and as he said in L’Equipe: “The good thing is that I (have) finished the period of healing. I am pretty much back in my classical organisation of sessions. It feels good.

“I was beginning to saturate myself with spending so much time on the physio’s table. Not one to two hours but three to five. In the end, I did not do at all what I liked – jump!”

Lavillenie, 30, ended the indoor season 10th on the European Athletics rankings with 5.71m from Clermont-Ferrand but now it is full steam ahead for the outdoors.

His presence in Lille could almost guarantee France maximum points at the European Athletics Team Championships because he has won the event on five occasions: Leiria (6.01m, 2009), Bergen (5.70m, 2010), Gateshead (5.77m, 2013), Braunschweig (5.62m, 2014) and Cheboksary (5.85m, 2015).

And then London will come into focus, for a man who has one silver and three world bronzes.

But before that more preparation. Next month Lavillenie will head to San Diego for 15 days of training ahead of spells in Clermont and Monaco, fit and well and no doubt sensing it could be a summer to remember.