Renaud Lavillenie at the 2013 Samsung Pole Stars, Donetsk (© organisers)
France's London 2012 Olympic Games champion Renaud Lavillenie continued his undefeated winter and Cuba's Yarisley Silva jumped an Area indoor record at the 24th edition of the famous Samsung Pole Vault Stars meeting in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Saturday (9).
After needing two attempts at his opening height of 5.60m, Lavillenie went straight over 5.75m and then 5.85m at the first time of asking before three unsuccessful attempts at a world-leading height of 5.93m, one centimetre higher than he achieved on home soil in Rouen last month.
Lavillenie is now undefeated in all six of his outings this winter. "I wanted to jump higher but the poles I used at 5.93 were too soft," reflected Lavillenie.
Five men went over 5.70m or better in a competition that lived up to its billing as arguably the premier indoor pole vault meeting in the world.
Greek record holder Konstadínos Filippídis, who went over a Greek record of 5.83m in the Austrian city of Linz 10 days ago, cleared 5.80m on his second try and briefly snatched the lead from Lavillenie to exert a bit of pressure on the Frenchman. He then passed 5.85m but after three unsuccessful attempts at at what would have been a 5.90m, Filippidis had to settle for second place.
Third was shared by Russia's Sergey Kucheryanu and Germany's Malte Mohr who both went over 5.70m on their second attempts but were flawless up to that point.
Silva went over 4.76m, which would have been a world-leading mark but for the clearance of 4.77m by Great Britain's Holly Bleasdale on the other side of Europe on Saturday afternoon.
The Olympic Games silver medallist added four centimetres to her own Central America and Caribbean indoor area record when she went over her winning height with her first attempt and it was also a personal best under any conditions by one centimetre.
Silva started the competition hesitantly and needed a pair of attempts at both her initial heights of 4.45m and 4.60m, but as the bar went higher she got into her stride.
She went over 4.65m with her first jump to take the lead, with Russia's improving Anastasiya Savchenko also clearing that height for a personal best with her third attempt.
Silva then went over 4.70m straight away while her Russian rival brough the bar down three times. After also going over 4.76m with her first attempt, Silva then had the bar set at 4.78m but one personal best and area record was enough for the afternoon and she had three failures.
Greece's Nikolía Kiriakopoúlou finished third with a national indoor record of 4.60m while Czech Republic's Jiřina Svobodová went over the same height but had more failures throughout the competition and was placed fourth.
At the other end of the spectrum, at least two well-known vaulters would probably rather forget about their trip to Donetsk, the city that will later this year stage the IAAF World Youth Championships.
Brazil's 2011 IAAF World Championships gold medallist Fabiana Murer could do no better 4.45m while her predecessor, Poland's Anna Rogowska, came into the competition at that height but brought the bar down three times.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF