Lavillenie joins 6m club as Germany takes inaugural European team title in Leiria
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Excerpt from IAAF.org
Leiria, Portugal – Renaud Lavillenie joined the Pole Vault’s six-metre club while a powerful German team took the inaugural title at first edition of the Spar European Team Championship in Leiria.
Lavillenie, 22, the European indoor champion arrived in Leiria as the world leader at 5.96, sailed over 6.01 with his second try at the height to add three centimetres to Jean Galfione’s French national record set in 1998.
“I'm very tired, it was a very long competition, in a very hot place, and with an amazing public,” said Lavillenie, who began the season with a 5.65m career best outdoors. “The mark was great, my personal record, so I'm very happy with that. In Berlin I expect a medal, to be honest. There will be hard competition and a good fight, but I really have some hopes.”
Malte Mohr, with a 5,75m leap, was second, just one of several solid performances across the board which gave Germany the team title with 326.5 points to top Russia (320) for overall team honours. Great Britain finished third with 303 points, just two ahead of France who was fourth.
Germany took five wins, five second place finishes and three thirds – and were last in only one event while Russia won five, finished second eight times and fourth three times, but finished last three times, wherein lied the difference.
Emotional high points came in the 4x400m relay, where the British where the British men won in 3:00.82, the fastest in Europe this year to finish on the podium, while France finished fifth.
Sadly for the vociferous home crowd, Portugal wasn’t able to improve and will be relegated to the First League in 2010, along with the Czech Republic and Sweden.