Almost three hours of competition ended with a 5.90m clearance from pole vault veteran Renauld Lavillenie to seal gold writes Javier Yap.
With eagerly anticipated finals spread out across the fourth and final day of the IAAF World Indoor Championships, fans around the world were in for an action-packed blockbuster. Day four saw the men’s pole vault as the first event of the evening with 15 athletes vying for the title.
Lavillenie was hoping to add to his collection of two world indoor championship golds off the back of his 2012 and 2016 wins. With the event featuring big names and past major champions, the 31 year old faced a difficult task. However, he towered over the rest of the field with an impressive set of clearances to claim gold.
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2011 Polish world champion, Pawel Wojciechowski had a disappointing night, only managing to clear the 5.60m mark. 2016 Olympic Champion Thiago Braz who shocked the world by winning gold in a new Olympic record of 6.03m was amongst the field of pole vaulters. He was unable to re-deliver a top performance like he did in front of a home crowd in Rio De Janeiro, also failing to clear over 5.60m.
Apart from this, the championship saw a new record set as 14 of the 15 pole vaulters jumped over 5.60m and just under half of that total managing to jump more than 5.80m.
Poland’s Piotr Lisek was close to clearing 5.90m right after watching his countrymen set a new world record in the 4x400m relay but could not add to the success, finishing third behind USA’s Sam Kendricks. Despite this, it was still a satisfying performance for the Pole.
Lavillenie looked to be in prime position for gold after clearing 5.85m on his first go after Kendricks failed at 5.80m. The Frenchman went on to secure his third world indoor championship title, clearing an imposing 5.90m at his second attempt and was pleased with his result. Speaking to IAAF Athletics after his victory, he showed no signs of slowing down with age.
” I’m just happy to show the world that I’m not too old, I’m still in shape for some great achievements.”
Australian, Kurtis Marschall who was the second youngest competitor in the event came in fourth, equaling his personal best of 5.80m with first attempt clearances at 5.60m, 5.70m and 5.80m. The 20 year old will be hopeful of earning a place on the podium next month in front of a home crowd at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where many of his biggest international competitors will not be present.