Golden Lavillenie rages as mighty leap ruled out
GOTHENBURG, Sweden (AFP) –
Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie won a third European indoor polevault title on Sunday, but was furious that a mighty 6.07m attempt was ruled out over a technical hitch.
The Frenchman took gold with 6.01m before successfully clearing 6.07m on his third and final attempt which would have made him the second highest vaulter in history behind the legendary Sergei Bubka.
But officials ruled his attempt was invalid as the bar, which he had touched, did not fall despite it having bounced out of its peg-holding position.
A furious Lavillenie kicked out at the advertising hoardings and launched an angry tirade against the judges before collapsing to the floor.
After a tense few moments, the French athlete reluctantly accepted the decision and celebrated his victory, achieved ahead of German duo, Bjorn Otto, who recorded 5.76m, and Malte Mohr, 5.76m.
“This should have been an extraordinary day but I am left with an incomplete feeling. I know that I made it, I have seen the videos which show it. I am the second best performer of all time,” said Lavillenie.
“These are stupid rules. I am not mincing my words, everyone knows it. We have so many obstacles in the way these days. We have reduced the time allowed to jump, we have reduced the length of our spikes.
“It’s not the same as 20 years ago when Bubka was setting world records. I would have had no problems 20 years back when I could have gone even higher.”
Earlier, British hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton continued to impress on the flat with a commanding gold medal run over 400 metres.
The 24-year-old, who failed by one place to make the 400m hurdles final at last year’s London Olympics, powered home in a personal best 50.85sec, which was also the fastest time in the world this year.
The silver medal also went to Britain with Eilidh Child more than half a second slower with Sweden’s Moa Hjelmer finishing strongly to take the bronze.
The men’s 800m was won by defending champion Adam Kszczot of Poland in a time of 1:48.69, with silver going to Spain’s Kevin Lopez (1:49.31) and the bronze to rising British star Mukhtar Mohammed in 1:49.60.
There was an upset in the women’s 800m where, on the final lap, Ukraine’s Nataliya Lupu burst clear of strong favourite Yelena Kotulskaya of Russia, with Marina Arzamasova of Belarus in third.
Elsewhere, Ukraine’s Olha Saladuha won the women’s triple jump with 14.88m, Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov took the long jump gold thanks to a leap of 8.31m and Dutchman Eelco Sintnicolaas claimed the heptathlon crown with 6,372 points.