Renaud Lavillenie in action at the 2015 Rouen pole vault meeting (© Jean-Pierre Durand)
Renaud Lavillenie, the 2014 World Athlete of the Year, posted a world-leading pole vault mark of 6.00m on home soil in the French city of Rouen on Saturday (24).
It was the eighth time in his career that the world record-holder and Olympic champion has cleared 6.00m or better, and his best performance since he sensationally set a world record of 6.16m in Donetsk last February.
In front of a packed audience in the Stade Sottevillais 76, Lavillenie cleared 6.00m on his third attempt before three failures at 6.10m for his sixth consecutive victory, his last defeat coming when he failed to clear a height at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm last August.
Lavillenie opened at 5.70m and, with the competition already won, then went over 5.86m, clearing both heights with his first attempt before asking for the bar to be raised to 6.00m.
Second in Rouen was his younger brother Valentin, who equalled his personal best when he went over 5.70m with his first attempt before failing at 5.78m.
Poland’s Piotr Lisek also cleared a best height of 5.70m but needed three tries to do so and finished third while Germany's world champion Raphael Holzdeppe could go no higher than 5.60m and placed fifth.
Greece’s 2012 European bronze medallist Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou won the women’s competition with her second-attempt clearance at 4.67m before attempting unsuccessfully an absolute national record of 4.77m.
French record-holder Marion Fiack was second with 4.62m while Brazil’s former world champion Fabiana Murer cleared, like Fiack, 4.62m with her first attempt but placed third on account of more failures earlier in the competition when neither woman was able to go higher.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF