Piotr Lisek overcame some tough incidents in training to win the gold medal in the pole vault at the 2017 European Indoor Athletics Championships. A fun competition, with five vaulters vying for medals. Here is how we saw it...
Piotr Lisek has had a few weeks of highs and lows. Piotr cleared 6 meters in Potsdam earlier this year. He had taken bronze medals in the World Indoor (2016), the World outdoor (2015) and the European Indoor (2015). In Rio, Piotr Lisek took fourth in the pole vault.
Most recently, Piotr broke his pole which resulted in injuries to his hand and his leg. He was having some issues befoe he came to Belgrade. Some wondered how he would fare after such a tough vault.
But Piotr Lisek perservered, and was in the thick of things. The key players on Friday night were Raphael Holzdeppe, Alex Chappele, Piotr Lisek, Konstandinos Filippidis, and Pawel Wojcheichowski.
Lisek started with a a clearance at 5.35m and cleared 5.50m 5.60m and 5.70m, all on first attempts, and missed at 5.75 meters. Filippids stared with a miss at 5.35m, then cleared 5.35 on his second attempt. After that, the 2014 World Indoor Champ, Filippidis, cleared 5.50m, 5.60m and 5.70m, and also missed first attempt at 5.75m.
Wojcheichowski cleared 5.35m, 5.50m and 5.60m on his first attempts, then, cleared 5.70m on his second attempt.
Jan Kudlicka shook up the vault a bit, with his clearances. Kudlicka cleared 5.50m, then passed at 5.60m and 5.70m, and cleared 5.75m and 5.80m.
Raphael Holzdeppe, the 2013 World Champion, was up and down, as usual, but he showed some excitement once again. Holzdeppe has first clearances on 5.60m and 5.70m, passed at 5.75m, and cleared 5.80m on his first attempt.
With Lisek missed at 5.75m, then passed to 5.80m, where he cleared on first attempt. He also cleared 5.85m on his first attempt. Filippidis missed at 5.75m, then passed to 5.80m, took his two final attempts to clear 5.80m and cleared 5.85m on his first attempt.
Wojcheichowski passed 5.75m, and 5.80m, and cleared 5.85m on his third attempt.
Holzdeppe could not clear 5.85m, and neither could Chappelle. It was down to Wojcheichowski, Fililppidis and Lisek. Wojcheichowski took three attempts at 5.85m, Filippidis and Lisek cleared 5.85m on their first attempts.
The bar moved to 5.90m. After a long night of vaulting, none of the three could clear the final height. Piotr Lisek, due to his less attempts, took the gold, Filippidis, who set a Greek NR at 5.85m, took the silver and Wojcheichowski took the bronze.
Piotr Lisek put his first gold medal at a major championship like this: "I didn't have the best preparation in the last couple of weeks, I've broken about three poles and that was very difficult mentally to cope with. I used old poles and I borrowed some from Pawel. I've tried to jump high and I managed to. I am very pleased with this gold medal and it means a lot to me."