Pole vault winner Renaud Lavillenie in Ostrava (© AFP / Getty Images)
France’s London 2012 Olympic Pole Vault champion Renaud Lavillenie will return to the IAAF World Challenge meeting in the Czech city of Ostrava on 27 June, where last year he set a meeting record 5.90m.
"I’m happy to return to Ostrava," said Lavillenie in an announcement by the organisers of the 52nd edition of the Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting on Tuesday (9).
Lavillenie was unbeaten during the indoor season, including a victory at the European Indoor Championships, and he will open his season at end of April in Des Moines, United States, at the Drake Relays.
Work is continuing on rebuilding the famous stadium in the north of the Czech Republic, and a new track and video boards are being installed, but the fields for this year’s meeting are shaping up nicely.
Another star confirmed for the meeting is the reigning Olympic and World 400m champion, Grenada’s Kirani James.
It will be his debut in Ostrava but his aim is clear: to attack the oldest meet record, which belongs to Cuba’s legendary Alberto Juantorena, now an IAAF Council Member, who ran one lap of the Ostrava track in 44.70 back in 1976.
Czech record-holder and 2013 European indoor champion Pavel Maslak will provide James with some strong local opposition.
"I always like to compete in Ostrava as it is in the region where I was born. My family will come to the stadium to support me and I hope to attack my own national record," said Maslak, who ran 44.91 last year.
Organisers for the IAAF