Renaud Lavillenie opens 2014 indoor with 5.93m WL clearance! by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Renaud Lavillenie is one the true superstars of the sport. The French pole vaulter added to his game with his quick wit and easy comfort in both English and French. Add to that the speed of a sprinter, agility of a gymnast, Lavillenie is the best vaulter in the world. Last March, when I watched him at 6.06m, I was awestruck. Lavillenie will clear 6.06m, perhaps 6.08. He is one of the great ones! 

And like the great ones, it is obvious that Lavillenie loves his event and his sport. 

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LAVILLENIE GREAT OPENER: 593
AULNAY SOUS BOIS (FRA, Dec 21): Top shape by Olympic pole vault winner Renaud Lavillenie. He opened his indoor season at the second meet of French series Perche Elite Tour with clearing superb meet record 593 in first attempt. Lavillenie started with 565 in first, then 575 in second try, 583 and 593 both in first attempts and missed only his overall best height of 604. His agent Rene Auguin commented: "He is in very great shape." He plans now 9 next competitions until World Indoor Championships in Sopot, next is onJanuary 11 another meet of the Perche Tour in Aubiere and plans only three competitions outside France, on January 18 in Reno, 31 in Bydgoszcz andFebruary 15 in Donetsk. Second Kevin Menaldo cleared overall PB 565, third Jerome Clavier and fourth brother Valentin Lavillenie over 553. Women competition winner Sweden´s Angelica Bengtsson achieved 449 ahead of Marion Lotout 443 indoor PB and Portugal record holder Maria Leonor Tavares 443.

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