Lavillenie reclaims world-lead; Duplantis improves his world indoor U20 record

Renaud Lavillenie at the European Athletics Team Championships
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World pole vault record-holder Renaud Lavillenie topped the world lists with a 5.86m clearance in Aubiere

Just when Sweden’s Armand Duplantis found himself on top of the pole vault world on Friday (12), up stepped world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie to overtake him on a busy weekend for pole vaulting.

With a clearance of 5.83m on his season’s opener at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Duplantis, 18, broke his own world indoor U20 record. He also topped the world lists but he didn’t stay there for long.

If Duplantis is the sport’s future, the superstar of this generation showed how much he means business again as Lavillenie cleared 5.86m at the X-Athletics meeting in Aubiere on Sunday (14). 

 

Lavillenie, 31, was forced to miss a bid for a fifth successive European Indoor title in Belgrade last March because of a hamstring injury before coming back to win a bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in London while Duplantis triumphed at the European U20 Athletics Championships in Grosseto having broken the outright world U20 record with 5.90m in April. 

In Reno, he went over 5.83m at the second attempt and then eyed the outright world U20 record as the bar was raised to 5.92m. It was not to be this time but clearly he is in great shape, just as is Lavillenie. 

 

Nothing drives a sportsperson on more than an ambition to make up for disappointment from a previous year and Lavillenie looks ready for another golden winter. After missing Belgrade, next on the agenda is the defence of his title at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in March ahead of the European Athletics Championships in Berlin in August. 

Domestic records for Guillon-Romarin and Guttormsen

Pole vault really did dominate the headlines this weekend and as the Perche Elite Tour started in Orleans on Saturday (13), Ninon Guillon-Romarin equalled the French record with 4.71m on her third attempt. 

She matched the mark set two years ago by Marion Fiack, who was third in Orleans with 4.41m, as Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou returned to competition for the first time since the 2016 European Championships with 4.60m for the runner-up spot. Her teammate Konstadinos Filippidis won the men’s competition with 5.71m.

The Norwegian U20 pole vault record fell again at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno. A week after 16-year-old Pal Haugen Lillefosse cleared 5.46m, Norway’s other top pole vaulting prospect Sondre Guttormsen, 18, reclaimed the mark with a 5.49m clearance. 

Dutch record-holder Menno Vloon took some excellent scalps in an early season meeting in Merzig on Saturday, clearing 5.61m to defeat former world champions Raphael Holzdeppe and Pawel Wojciechowski and European indoor champion Piotr Lisek, who all cleared 5.51m. 

Kasyanov breaks 6000-point barrier in Aubiere

At the same meeting which saw Lavillenie clear 5.86m, Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov won the heptathlon with 6016 points ahead of Germany’s German Tim Nowak with 5906 points while another stalwart of continental multi-eventing Antoinette Nana Djimou from France was first in the pentathlon with 4351 points.

The Greek indoor season opened in earnest in Agios Kosmas on Saturday when two of their country’s youngsters impressed. European U20 champion Miltiadis Tentoglou went out to 7.89m in the long jump while reigning European U18 champion Emmanouil Karalis cleared 5.50m in the pole vault.

Staying with teenagers, 17-year-old Meryem Bekmez won the Turkish indoor 5000m race walking title in Istanbul on Saturday in 21:54.25. Her time was not just a national U20 record but also a senior one.