As an Olympic champion and world record holder, Renaud Lavillenie demands a lot of respect wherever he goes, not least in London, the city in which he claimed that glorious gold medal. Three years on from the event, while he is almost certainly still the best pole vaulter in the world, things have certainly not been as clear cut this season. Yet after returning to winning form at last week’s Monaco Diamond League, the Frenchman is excited for this weekend’s Anniversary Games.
“I think I’m ready to win. I’m in very good shape and in a good condition to jump near to my best. The stadium will have a very good crowd and that will help me find extra motivation for the jump.” he said at today’s presser. “I have great memories from the stadium in 2013 (Anniversary Games), it brought so much back to me from the Olympics and it helped me to jump 6.02m, which was a personal best for me back then.”
RunBlogRun with the assistance of Vinco’s Mim Zara, caught up with the pole vaulter post-conference to ask him a few quick questions that were a bit different to usual.
Earlier in the season the Frenchman got injured as he fell when crossing the finishing line in the 4x100m relay at a national clubs competition in Lyon, an injury that put him out of the opening few weeks of the season. Despite the negative result he admits it was still an enjoyable experience with his unique non-pole vault appearance for the competition, something he has done for a long time: “Since 4 or 5 years ago I’ve done this competition in both the hurdles and long jump and I used to train in those events because it’s really interesting. They’re good events to train for the pole vault.”
Despite the injury, Lavillenie has not been put off and says he still hopes to do multi-events for fun post-retirement: “After pole vault no [I won’t do multi-events seriously] because it will be really hard but I’m thinking about doing it just for fun. I did one after Moscow and it was really fun but I wasn’t prepared, but I am still definitely thinking about doing some more in the next few years.”
As for an interest in other sports, he seemed less keen, especially at the thought of gymnastics.
On a more serious note, the world record holder said that he has enjoyed the renewed level of competition in 2015 and that it he was aware of his need to keep working for the Beijing world championships.
“The level was okay last year but this year it’s really strong. It’s interesting because I know that at every competition I go to, I have to be at the best level to be able to win.” he said “The only thing is that you can’t be relaxed at any competition. But it’s a very good experience competition for the World Championships and maybe the standard will be higher at these World Championships. So it’s really interesting for us pole-vaulters for preparation.”
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