Renaud Lavillenie wins the pole vault at the IAAF Continental Cup, Marrakech 2014 (© Getty Images)
As expected, Renaud Lavillenie was the easy winner in the men’s pole vault, earning maximum points for Europe.
Lavillenie, the world record-holder at 6.16m, didn’t even enter the competition until the bar was raised to 5.65m, when just two others remained in the competition. He sailed clear with his first attempt which had all but sealed his first victory at this event after a runner-up finish in Split four years ago.
The Frenchman needed all three tries before summiting 5.80m, ultimately his best clearance of the evening.
“It was a good day for me, I just wanted to secure first place with one jump,” said Lavillenie, whose first jump netted him $30,000. Yet even after conserving his energy, none of his attempts at 5.90m were particularly close.
“Now it’s time to take care of my body,” he continued, “then I have just one goal for next season. I don’t want to focus on six metres, I just want to become the world champion.”
Xue Changrui, the Chinese record-holder at 5.80m, topped 5.65m with his third attempt to finish second. Mark Hollis of the US cleared 5.55m to finish fourth.
Poland's Pawel Wojciechowski, who denied Lavillenie the world title in 2011, only managed 5.40m, and finished fifth.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF