Armand Duplantis in the pole vault at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (© Getty Images)
A dream men’s pole vault tops the first field announced for the 2019 Prefontaine Classic on 30 June, which also brings the IAAF Diamond League to California for the first time.
It is not a dream. Every active member of the six-metre club is prepared to vault, including the world record holder, the last two Olympic gold medallists, and every IAAF Diamond League winner ever.
World record-holder Renaud Lavillenie (pole vault world rank: 4) won his third world indoor title last year, the most recent of his achievements as one of the event’s best ever. The four-time Pre Classic winner set a US all-comers’ record of 6.05m at the 2015 edition.
Sam Kendricks (pole vault world rank: 1) is returning to the Pre Classic, having won in 2018 and 2017. A few months after the first of those victories, he won the world title in London, USA’s first major pole vault gold since 2007. In an undefeated 2017 season, the Olympic bronze medallist won the IAAF Diamond League title to end Lavillenie’s seven-year streak.
The highest vault in the world last year came from Armand Duplantis (pole vault world rank: 3) as an 18-year-old who won the European Championships with 6.05m. Only one man in history – pole vaulting legend Sergey Bubka – has ever vaulted higher outdoors. Now 19 and a student at LSU, earlier this year he raised the collegiate standard to 5.92m when winning the NCAA indoor title.
Timur Morgunov (pole vault world rank: 2) is the newest member of the six-metre club, joining minutes after Duplantis at last year’s European Championships in Berlin. Morgunov ended 2018 by winning the Diamond Trophy.
Brazil’s Thiago Braz (pole vault world rank: 10) won the 2016 Olympic gold, clearing a South American record of 6.03m to move into the top 10 on the world all-time list.
Piotr Lisek (pole vault world rank: 5) holds the Polish indoor (6.00m) and outdoor (5.94m) records. He earned world silver in 2017, having won the European indoor title earlier that year.
Shawn Barber (pole vault world rank: 7) is Canada’s only member of the six-metre club. He won the 2015 world title in Beijing as a 20-year-old.
Organisers for the IAAF