Lavillenie and Murer to Samsung Pole Vault Stars in Donetsk, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Renaud Lavillenie, 1/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 

Renaud Lavillenie, 2/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 
photo by 

Renaud Lavillenie, 3/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 

Renaud Lavillenie, 4/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 
photo by 

Renaud Lavillenie is the gold medalist from the 2012 London Olympics. He won a pole vault competition where he was challenged by the best vaulters in the world. In this day and age, the best male vaulting country is Germany, in terms of depth, consistency and technique. 

Lavillenie is becoming a global superstar. He speaks fluent French and English, which gives him access to much of the world's media. He is savvy enough to know when and how to promote his main sponsor, Nike. Remember, after the 2011 Euro Indoors, when Lavillenie tied his shoes around his neck, with the French flag in the background? Lavillenie gets it.
Sports is entertainment. 

Renaud Lavillenie competed in the US at the Reno US Pole Vault Summit. The US Pole Vault Summit, which was started around 1993, is the largest pole vault only event in the world. Lavillenie put himself in front of the next generation of American vaulters, coaches and vault fans. 

This was a good thing for the vault in the US. 

Top names for Friday
DUSSELDORF (GER): More than a dozen Olympic and more than 30 World Championship medals have been gained by the about 175 athletes from more than 30 nations competing at the "PSD Bank Meeting" taking place at the Athletics Hall at Arena Sportpark on 8 February (EA Indoor Permit). Two 2004 Olympic champions will also be competing: Tatyana Lebedeva (Russia/long jump, but competes in triple jump), who can boast a total of five Olympic medals, and Yuriy Borzakovskiy (Russia/800m). 2012 London Olympic medallists are Timothy Kitum (Kenya/800m/bronze), Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (France/3000m steeple chase/silver, runs the 3000 m), Jason Richardson (USA/110m hurdles/silver), Yekaterina Poistogova (Russia/800m/bronze), Olga Saladuha (Ukraine/triple jump/bronze) and the German pole vault duo Bjoern Otto (silver) and Raphael Holzdeppe (bronze). The meet is sold out with 2000 spectators and will be broadcasted live by Eurosport. Organizers are informing.

Ennis passing indoor season
BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Olympic heptathlon golden girl Jessica Ennis will not compete indoors in 2013 but will focus on the World Championships in Moscow this summer as her goal. Ennis who had left the decision very much open after winning gold at the Olympics in August 2012 said: "After the incredible high of the Olympics and the post Games celebrations I went back into tough winter training with an open mind on whether or not I would want to compete indoors this year - training has been going well, but I feel that my focus really has to be attempting to win another world title in Russia this summer and not the short term indoor season." Ennis' first competition of 2013 is likely to be the Edinburgh Women's League on June 8th and her first heptathlon in Tallinn, Estonia at the end June.

Barshim vs. Dmitrik
BANSKA BYSTRICA (SVK): The jubilee 20the edition of special high jump meeting in Banska Bystrica (Central Slovakia) will see the duel of the current top two high jumpers in the world on Wednesday (EA Indoor Permit). Olympic medalist Mutaz Barshim of Qatar (237 on Sunday in Moscow) will jump against World medalist from Daegu Russian Aleksey Dmitrik (236 on Saturday in Arnstadt). In their first clash of the year in Trinec last week Mutaz was better (234 to 231). Their overall career record is 5:2 in favor of Barshim (per Tilastopaja). In the field of 15 jumpers there are other 11 jumpers with 230+ personal bests. Among them reigning World Champion Jesse Williams who likes this place (his indoor PB from here), 2007 World Champion Donald Thomas of Bahamas, 2011 European indoor silver winner Jaroslav Baba of Czech Republic. Also second from Arnstadt Kostadinos Baniotis of Greece, two Italians Gianmarco Tamberi and Silvano Chesani with French European medalist Mickael Hanany and Briton Samson Oni. Three Slovaks will jump in the main programme, Michal Kabelka remembers well the last year edition of this meet when he had the competition of his life with improvement to 231. On the other hand member of local army club Dukla Banska Bystrica Peter Horak still needs to clear the Goteborg standard of 226 as is the goal for the newcomer Lukas Beer (so far 221 this season). The field is added by two Ukrainians Viktor Shapoval and Andriy Rubel. Live results from 6 pm local time at live stream at

Lavillenie and Murer top stars
DONETSK (UKR): Olympic winner Renaud Lavillenie who is unbeaten so far this indoor season will be the top star of Samsung Pole Vault Stars on Saturday, February 9 in Ukraine. The local ice-hockey hall will be again transformed to hot pole vault arena under the leadership of the main organizer, legendary Sergey Bubka. Main rivals of the French world leader (592 in Rouen on January 26) will be German Malte Mohr, Greek record holder Kostadinos Filippidis and British record holder Steven Lewis. Also in the field Czech olympic finalist Jan Kudlicka and former World indoor champion Yevgeniy Lukyanenko of Russia. US vaulting school will be represented by Mark Hollis. On the women side World champion Fabiana Murer will fight against Cuban olympic medalist Yarisley Silva, 2009 World Champion Anna Rogowska and European Champion from Helsinki Jirina Svoboda of Czech Republic. Germans will be represented by Lisa Ryzih and another top name is World junior record holder Angelica Bengtsson of Sweden. Also here one US jumper, Mary Saxer (455 last Saturday in Boston). 

Kupina 1:59.58 WL
BELGOROD (RUS, Feb 3): First sub 2 minutes time at the 800 m for the indoor season. At the Belogorye Cup Yekaterina Kupina 1:59.58. It is also her overall personal best. Ukrainian Ihor Bodrov won the 60 m in 6.74. 


VIENNA (AUT): Course record holder Henry Sugut confirmed he will return for the Vienna City Marathon also this year. He clocked last year here the record time of 2:06:58. This is also Austrian All-Comers record.

POTSDAM (GER): Olympic silver medalist Bjorn Otto confirmed in his heavy indoor schedule another meet. The special event in Potsdam on Saturday, February 16. The event is held in Stern Center what is a Shopping Center. His main rivals should fellow German Karsten Dilla and Ukrainian Maksim Mazuryk.

STOCKHOLM (SWE): Two years ago Angelica Bengtsson raised the pole vault Junior World record to 463 in a competition where she bettered her Swedish record in several stages. That is the only time Bengtsson has competed in the fabolous Ericsson Globe Arena, the largest hemispherical building in the world and home of XL-galan since the inauguration in 1990. The Junior World Record stands while Bengtsson has progressed to the senior ranks and moved to France in order to sharpen her skills under the guidance of Damien Inocienco, Renaud Lavillenie's former coach. Bengtsson will return to Sweden and XL-Galan on February 21. It will be a tough comeback competition om home soil since World champion Fabiana Murer, European Champion Jirina Svobodova, Olympic Silver medallist Yarisley Silva and this winter's unbeaten Holly Bleasdale has joined the pole vault start list.

LJUBLJANA (SLO): Slovenian triple jump record holder Marija Sestak after her heavy tendon injury will not be able to compete in 2013 but plans to be back for 2014. The World Indoor Championships and European Championships are the main target.

OFFENBURG (GER): Olympic silver medalist German Christina Obergföll competed at home indoor javelin meet with men implement. Her result was 55.25 m, what is her new personal best.

LA VALETTA (MLT): The St. Juliens 2012 European Athletics Convention won an award during Malta's Annual Sports Awards Gala held last weekend. The Convention was named "Best Organised Sportive Event" for the year 2012. On that same day, female spinter Diane Borg, who represented Malta in the 100 m at the London Olympics, won the women's Athlete of the Year award. Writes European Athletics.

DUBLIN (IRL): Ireland's double European cross-country champion Fionnuala Britton was among the athletes modelling kit produced by New Balance at the Dublin launch event to mark the company's new position as the sponsor for Athletics Ireland in a multi-year deal.  In what is its first major federation sponsorship, New Balance - based in Boston, Massachusetts - will supply the Irish track and field team with a full selection of team wear, including performance apparel for use in competition in all Irish events, World Championships and European Championships.

RALEIGH (USA): Former Hungarian national Tibor Vegh became an American citizen on October 26 last year and became eligible to represent the United States on January 6 this year.  His wife, Kristina Vegh, is an American by birth.  Her birth name was "Kristina Roth" and she ran for North Carolina State University. Informs Race Results Weekly. He has sub 29 at 10 000 m and sub 14 at 5000 m and also tried a marathon in 2011 with 2:24:35.

AMSTERDAM (NED): The city of Amsterdam will stage a new Athletics event called the Flame Games. The event features top level competition combined with entertainment and a DJ concert. In 2013 the event will be staged on August 31st and will be held to promote the European championships to be held in 2016. The Amsterdam Flame Games is an initiative of Sportinspiration, the Olympic stadium and Global Sports Communication of Jos Hermens.

NIJMEGEN (NED): Organizers of the zevenheuvelenloop in Nijmegen have donated 100.000€ to the city of Nijmegen. The money will be made available to schools who would like to place solar panels and this way reduce their enegery costs.

BRUSSELS (BEL): Eline Berings is feeling stronger this season than when she won the European indoor championships in 2009 she told Belgian media. Berings clocked a very solid 7.95 last weekend and believes she could be among the medalists in Goteborg.

DONETSK (UKR): Ukrainian medias inform that "Suslik" (ground squirrel) what made the Donetsk the mining capital of Ukraine was chosen as Mascot of World Youth Championships 2013. "Our agency has received more than 50 drawings since we announced a competition" said communication department manager of special Agency created for preparation to World Youth Championships.  "We chose the picture of Donetsk's citizen 13-year-old Danil as he told us an amazing legend about peasant of Andreyevka village who has found small piece of coal near the suslik's barrow. Later the first coal mine in Donetsk region has appeared on that place. We checked that fact and it was confirmed. So our suslik is not just an amusing animal but historical hero as well."
PARIS (FRA): French coach Guy Ontanon, who is currently coaching his pupil Jimmy Vicaut, is not suprised by the solid performance of Vicaut this weekend. After clocking 6.57 in the series, Vicaut clocked 6.53 in the final of the 60m at the meeting national indoor of Mondeville. The times equals Vicaut's national U23 60m record and is promising for the rest of the indoor season according to He is next scheduled to run against Lerone Clarke and Christophe Lemaitre in Dusseldorf on Friday.

LAUSANNE (SUI): Representatives from the local organising committees and city partners of European Athletics' major events in 2013 met in Gothenburg to begin work on the Green Inspiration project - European Athletics' latest effort to increase the sustainability of athletics and help deliver its 'Your Sport for Life' vision. In a workshop setting, the 14 participants discussed the background and implementation of the project, which aims to engage the public in sustainability-themed activities that bring value to the local community and promote the event.

OTTAWA (CAN): Athletics Canada, in conjunction with the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club, will play host for a second consecutive year to the 2013 Panamerican Combined Events Cup.  The 2013 Pan Am Combined Events Cup will be held at Terry Fox Athletic Facility in Ottawa, Ont., on June 1 and 2.

FRANKFURT (GER): The European Athletics Council, led by President Hansjörg Wirz, met in Frankfurt on Sunday for the European Athletics and IAAF Congresses to be held later this year. The 2013 European Athletics Congress will be held in Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on 13 April, while the IAAF Congress will take place in Moscow ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in the Russian capital between 10 and 18 August. The Council also discussed the proposals of a working group to strengthen the engagement of European Athletics and its member federations in the field of health and well-being. European Athletics Vice President Jean Gracia, who is leading on development initiatives, explained the steps planned to set quality standards for mass participation races throughout Europe.


EAUBONNE (FRA, Feb 3): Alice Decaux clocked here at regional club event 8.14 at 60 m hurdles.

VAL DE REUIL (FRA, Feb 3): Benjamin Compaore registered good triple jump 16.85 at regional club event.

REIMS (FRA, Feb 3): European champion Yohan Diniz won the 5000 m walk here with 18:55.65.

ISTANBUL (TUR, Feb 2-3): At National Championships Volkan Cakan won the 60 m in 6.76. Serhat Birinci cleared 220 in high jump. Bulgarian guest Radoslava Yankova-Mavrodieva won the shot put 17.00 with home talent Emel Dereli second (17) 16.96.

REYKJAVIK (ISL, Feb 2): Top talent from Iceland Anita Hinriksdottir improved at age of 17 years her senior national record in the 800 m to 2:03.27. It was at national junior indoor championships.
OUDTSHOORN (RSA, Feb 3): Benedict Moeng comfortably won the South African Marathon title in 2:17:32 while Cornelia Joubert came out tops in a closely fought women's battle with 2:46:13 ahead of Kim Laxton 2:47:25.

SAN BLAS (PUR, Feb 3): Morrocan Riddouane Harroufi won the 51st San Blas Half-Marathon in 1:03:04. Second Kenyan Levi Matebo 1:03.19 ahead of Philemon Limo 1:03:43.  Ethiopian Emebet Bedada won the women's race by more than half a minute in 1:13:45. Informs RRW.

HAVANA (CUB, Feb 1): Solid 110 m hurdles time 13.65 by Ignacio Morales (-0.1) at an open meet.


CASTELLON (ESP): At European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country the men team winner was not Fiamme Gialle of Italy but Spanish Bikila. In fact the last scoring athlete of Bikila was 10th against 11th for Fiamme Gialle. Thus the tie was decided in favour of Bikila, according to the competition regulations.

GENT (BEL): The 3000 m winner Lander Tijtgat is Belgian athlet, not Eritrean. His 3000 m PB 7:56.53 means Goteborg standard.

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