Renaud Lavillenie returns to action in Donetsk with a victory at 5.82m (© Donetsk Organisers)
Illustrating a strong return from injury, Renaud Lavillenie of France won the 23rd edition of the Pole Vault Stars competition in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Saturday (11).
Jumping in his first competition since undergoing surgery for a broken left hand, the 2009 and 2011 World championships bronze medallist topped 5.82m on his first attempt to defeat Germany's Bjorn Otto at the same height on count back.
Opening at 5.52m, Lavillenie sailed clear on his first height, as he did at 5.72m and 5.82m as well before bowing after three attempts at 5.92m.
Germany Malte Mohr, the 2010 World indoor silver medallist, topped out at 5.72m equalling his season's best and finishing third.
Lazaro Borges of Cuba, the World outdoor silver medallist, topped 5.72m on his third attempt to finish fourth, and to improve the Central American & Caribbean record.
Dmitriy Starodubtsev of Russia, this season's world leader at 5.90m, sustained an injury during warm-ups and did not jump in the competition.
The women's competition produced a surprise with Jirina Ptacnikova of the Czech Republic taking top honors at 4.70m, a new indoor national record.
The 25-year-old, who was fifth at the 2010 World Indoor Championships, sailed clear on her third attempt, adding 10 centimetres to her previous indoor best, and topping her absolute best by four centimetres.
Cuban Yarisley Silva was second at 4.60m, equalling her own national and CAC indoor record.
Third place was a surprise, and a pleasant one for the hosts. Hanna Shelekh, just 18, cleared 4.60m on her third try, a national record for Ukraine and the second best jump by a junior indoors or outdoors. Angelica Bengtsson of Sweden, who cleared 4.63m last year, is still a junior; Shelekh's rise sets up what could be one of the finest head-to-heads at next summer's World Junior Championships.
Poland's Anna Rogowska, the 2009 World champion finished fourth, just ahead of Kylie Hutson of the U.S. Both cleared 4.50m.
The annual Pole Vault Stars meeting is organised by Pole Vault World record holder and IAAF Vice President Sergey Bubka.
Organisers and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF
1. Renaud Lavillenie, FRA 5.82
2. Bjorn Otto, GER 5.82
3. Malte Mohr, GER 5.72
4. Lazaro Borges, CUB 5.72 NR
5. Denys Yurchenko, UKR 5.62
6. Brad Walker, USA 5.62
7. Lukasz Michalski, POL 5.62
=8. Konstadinos Filippidis, GRE 5.52
=8. Pawel Wojciechowski, POL 5.52
10. Karsten Dilla, GER 5.52
11. Aleksandr Gripish, RUS 5.32
NM - Dmitriy Starodubtsev, RUS
1. Jirina Ptacnikova, CZE 4.70 NR
2. Yarisley Silva, CUB 4.60 NR
3. Hanna Shelekh, UKR 4.60 NR
4. Anna Rogowska, POL 4.50
5. Kylie Hutson, USA 4.50
=6. Aleksandra Kiryashova, RUS 4.40
=6. Dailis Caballero, CUB 4.40
=8. Svetlana Feofanova, RUS 4.40
=8. Monika Pyrek, POL 4.40
=8. Natalya Mazurik, UKR 4.40
11. Agnieszka Kolasa, POL 4.30