Lavillenie and Bleasdale soar high | 10.02.2013
|Renaud Lavillenie of France cleared 5.85m to win the
pole vault event in Donetsk on Saturday.
And on the road to the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg, the French pole-vaulter is producing a series of brilliant performances as the people of Donetsk witnessed on Saturday at the 24th Pole Vault Stars event.
This European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting is organised by Sergei Bubka, the multiple world record-holder and the greatest pole vaulter in history.
If his achievements are the standards most set out to chase, Lavillenie is making a good job of it.
In London last summer, Lavillenie won gold with 5.97m and as he bids for a hat-trick of European indoor titles, he is heading to Sweden on an unbeaten run.
A capacity crowd at the Donetsk ice hockey arena saw Lavillenie's triumph with 5.85m but his targets are greater heights.
Lavillenie holds the best in the world this year of 5.92m. He missed out here with his attempt to improve on that but said: "I wanted to jump higher but the poles I used at 5.93m were too soft."
In London, Greek record holder Kostadinos Filippidis was seventh with with 5.65m but he confirmed his excellent form this winter by finishing second with 5.80m and then had failed bids at a Greek record of 5.90m.
Lavillenie will, of course, be the man to beat at the European Athletics Indoor Championships but Filippidis will do his best to push him close.
There was a tie for third at 5.70m between Sergey Kucheryanu, of Russia, Germany's Malte Mohr and Jan Kudlicka, of the Czech Republic, whose effort at the third go was an indoor personal best.
In the women's event, Yarisley Silva stole the show.
The Cuban Olympic silver medallist missed out on gold in London on countback as American Jennifer Suhr triumphed with them both on 5.75m.
But once more underlining the quality of this event, having cleared 4.70m, which would have been enough to win, she then went over at 4.76m.
It sparked the additional celebration of the effort being the best in the world this year, but that achievement did not last the day.
Two thousand miles away in Sheffield, at the British trials for the European Athletics Indoor Championships, Holly Bleasdale went a centimetre higher to overtake Silva.
Russian Anastasiya Savchenko increased her personal best to 4.65m while in third, Nikolia Kiriakopoulou set a Greek indoor record with 4.60m followed by European champion Jirina Svobodova, of the Czech Republic, on the same mark.
Brazil's world champion Fabiana Murer was suffering from injury and having cleared 4.45m, she had two failures at 4.55m and did not vault again.
But it was a bad day for Poland's Anna Rogowska, the 2009 World champion, who suffered a no-height at 4.45m.