News13 Feb 2013

Lavillenie to renew rivalry with German duo in Eugene


Another Diamond League win for Renaud Lavillenie, this time in Oslo (© Mark Shearman)

Olympic Pole Vault champion Renaud Lavillenie is ready to take the Prefontaine Classic to new heights when he competes at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Eugene on June 1.

Lavillenie will make his first-ever trip to Hayward Field to take on the two men who joined him on the Olympic podium last year – Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe.

The 26-year-old is currently the dominant vaulter on the planet. He owns a PB of 6.03m and was the only athlete in the world last year to win all three major titles, taking gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, the European Championships and Olympic Games.

Otto is another member of the six-metre club, joining it last year at the age of 34. Now 35, the German is the oldest vaulter in the field for Eugene. Countryman Holzdeppe, just 23, has a PB of 5.91m and took bronze at the European Championships last year. Like Lavillienie, for Otto and Holzdeppe this will be their first visit to Eugene.

The only Pre Classic entrant familiar with the Eugene facility is American record-holder Brad Walker. Three of Walker’s most memorable jumps came at Hayward Field, including his victories at the 2012 US Olympic Trials and 2009 US National Championships. But Walker still relishes his clearance of 6.04m at the 2008 Pre Classic, the American record that still stands. It also still stands as the US all-comers record.

Three additional Olympians are confirmed for the Pre Classic field – Malte Mohr of Germany, Steve Lewis of Great Britain, and Konstadinos Filippidis of Greece. Mohr is the 2010 World indoor silver medallist, while Lewis and Filippidis hold the national records for their respective countries.

Organisers for the IAAF