It has been nearly four years since Renaud Lavillenie won his last European title but the Frenchman has mapped out his indoor season which will culminate at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships from 1-3 March.
Lavillenie hasn’t reached the top of the podium at continental level since the 2015 European Indoor Championships in Prague where he won his fourth successive title, clearing a championship record in 6.04m. He missed out on the chance of winning a fifth in Belgrade two years ago due to a leg injury and his European outdoor crown slipped out of his grasp in Amsterdam where he didn't record a height in swirling conditions.
But that is not to say the years since Prague have been a famine for the world record-holder. Lavillenie won the IAAF World Indoor Championships in 2016 and 2018 as well as medals at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships. In fact, Lavillenie has won at least one major medal in every season since 2009 when he won his first European indoor title in Turin.
His most recent medal came at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships where he battled to bronze. Lavillenie kept himself in medal contention with a last gasp clearance at 5.85m followed by a season’s best of 5.95m before the new generation of Timur Morgunov and Armand Duplantis both surpassed six metres to secure silver and gold respectively.
Lavillenie will open his season in Tignes on 10 January before competing in Nevers on 19 January. His first main test of the season will come in Paris-Bercy on 27 January at the European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting and he will make his international debut at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin on 1 February.
He is also scheduled to compete at the Perche Elite Tour in Rouen on 9 February and at the French Championships in Miramas on 17 February before he will compete in his home event in Clermont-Ferrand on 24 February, another European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting.