Excellent pole vault field assembled for ISTAF Indoor

Renaud Lavillenie
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France's Renaud Lavillenie will face strong opposition at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin on 14 February

One of the anticipated highlights of the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, on 14 February will be the pole vault which features three six metre-plus performers including world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie.

Lavillenie holds the meeting record at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin with 6.02m. He set that mark in 2015 only three weeks before winning his fourth successive European indoor pole vault title in Prague.  

Lavillenie has been forced to sit out the last two editions of the European Indoor Championships through injury but the 33-year-old is still the reigning world indoor champion. Lavillenie has won three world indoor titles - 2012, 2016 and 2018 - and he will face two of his principal opponents for a fourth world indoor title in March in the German capital next month.

The Frenchman will renew his rivalry with reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz, who cleared his lifetime best of 6.03m to dethrone Lavillenie in Rio de Janeiro, as well as reigning world bronze medallist Piotr Lisek from Poland.

“It's great that so many exceptional jumpers are coming to Berlin. Our fans can look forward to a spectacular pole vault show at the start of the Olympic year,” said meeting organiser Martin Seeber. 

Lisek showed the best form of this triumvirate all the way through the 2019 season. He finished the indoor season with an equal share of the world lead of 5.93m and he strung together an unbeaten streak of eight competitions midway through the summer campaign which included wins in Lausanne (6.01m) and Monaco (6.02m) as well as the European Team Championships (5.81m) on home soil in Bydgoszcz where Poland won the overall title for the first time. 

German interest will be focused on the quickly improving Bo Kanda Lita Baehre who finished fourth at the World Championships in Doha last autumn at the age of 20.

Previously announced stars for the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin include Dafne Schippers in the 60m, Pamela Dutkiewicz in the 60m hurdles, Nadine Muller in the discus and world champion Malaika Mihambo who makes her season’s debut in the long jump.