Renaud Lavillenie after clearing 5.95m at the 2016 French Championships (© Getty Images / AFP)
Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie improved the outdoor world lead to 5.95m on the third and last day of the French Championships in Angers on Sunday (26)..
Lavillenie opened his series at 5.75m and went over that and 5.85m with his first attempt, the latter securing the title, before clearing 5.95m on his second try and then unsuccessfully attempting 6.01m.
“It feels good. I’m very happy to do this performance at the championships. My two attempts at 6.01m were very close,” said Lavillenie, whose next competition will be at the European Championships early next month.
Kevin Menaldo cleared 5.80m for second place.
Sprinter Jimmy Vicaut produced the best performance of the first two days of the championships.
Following a 9.94 100m run in his heat, he clinched his third domestic title in 9.88, just 0.02 shy of his European record and world lead of 9.86.
Four of his five 100m races this year have been sub-10-second outings, which suggest he will be a strong candidate for a medal in Rio.
“I’m very satisfied. I’m in my best career’s form and I will continue to work hard,” said the 24-year-old sprinter.
Stuart Dutamby and Mickael-Meba Zeze rounded the 100m podium with 10.12 and 10.21 respectively as 2012 European champion Christophe Lemaitre clocked 10.09 in the heat only to withdraw before the final due to achilles tendon discomfort.
Lemaitre didn’t line up in Sunday’s 200m either, preferring to get some rest and treatment before heading to Amsterdam. In his absence, Vicaut took his second title of the weekend in 20.62.
Tamgho injured again
Teddy Tamgho sometimes appears cursed.
The 2013 world triple jump champion has had a series of injuries since his triumph in Moscow, and on Saturday he uncorked an effort of 17.15m in the last round to take the title only to hurt himself in the process.
He fractured his left femur – the fifth serious injury of his career – and probably won’t compete for the rest of the season including at the Olympic Games.
“I’ll come back like a madman,” promised Tamgho. Harold Correa finished second with 16.95m with Kevin Luron third with 16.89m.
Cindy Billaud prevailed in the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.83, defeating Sandra Gomis and Aisseta Diawara, who were second and third respectively in 13.01 and 13.17.
Melina Robert-Michon won the women’s discus title with 63.40m. Pauline Pousse took the lead in the second round with 62.68m, adding more than a metre to her personal best, but the 2013 world silver medallist responded in the fifth round with her winning throw.
Eloyse Lesueur, the 2014 world indoor champion, finished third in the long jump with a relatively modest 6.34m and was defeated by Haoua Kessely, who won with 6.41m, and Rougui Sow, second with 6.39m.
As part of his preparation for Rio, European decathlon silver medallist Kevin Mayer entered two of the individual decathlon events. He improved his best at the shot put with 15.47m before clocking 14.05 in the 110m hurdles.
Bastien Auzeil took advantage of Mayer’s absence to claim the decathlon title with a tally of 8191, adding 41 points to his lifetime best.
World U18 pole vault best for Gunnarsson
Ninon Guillon-Romain won the women’s pole vault title with her second-attempt clearance at 4.40m. But the best performance came from Sweden’s 16-year-old Lisa Gunnarsson, who competed as a guest.
The Swedish teenager, who trains in Angers, equalled her own world U18 best, clearing 4.50m at her third attempt before going close to 4.55m.
World indoor bronze medallist Dimitri Bascou clocked 13.05 in the 110m hurdles, which would have been a personal best and the second-fastest time in the world this year if it wasn’t for a tailwind of 2.1m/s.
World junior champion Wilhem Belocian finished second in 13.15 while Pascal Martinot-Lagarde hit the seventh barrier and placed a disappointing sixth in 13.73.
“Although the performance isn’t officially recognised, it gives me lot of confidence for the next races,” said a pleased Bascou.
Stella Akakpo, the 2013 European junior 100m champion, clinched her first domestic title in 11.17, taking 0.01 from her previous best.
Jeanine Assani Issouf won the women’s triple jump with a 14.40m fourth-round effort to add 14 centimetres to her best.
Double Olympic 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi unleashed a ferocious last lap to cross the line after an otherwise tactical race in 8:29.01 while Renelle Lamote was an impressive winner of the women’s 800m, coming home strongly to win in 2:02.09.
Quentin Guillon for the IAAF