Kendricks wins pole vault, Lavillenie frustrated again
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[August 09, 2017]
By Brian Homewood
LONDON (Reuters) - American Sam
Kendricks capped his memorable, unbeaten season by wining the pole
vault at the World Championships on Tuesday as the title once again
eluded world record holder and former Olympic champion Renaud
Kendricks, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserve, cleared 5.95
meters while Poland's Piotr Lisek took the silver and Lavillenie had
to be content with a fourth world bronze despite producing his best
leap of the season.
Lisek, joint bronze medalist in Beijing two years ago, and Frenchman
Lavillenie, who also won silver in 2013, both cleared 5.89 but the
Pole took silver on countback.
Olympic champions Fabio Braz pulled out last month due to form and
Kendricks, unbeaten in 2017 after 10 competitions outdoors and one
indoors, was again in imperious form as he moved through the first
five heights without a failure.
The 24-year-old, who barely picked his pole for five months during
the autumn and winter while on active duty, failed his first two
attempts at 5.95 before clearing the third to a huge roar.
"It is all part of a mission for me. I make a goal and chop it down
to make it attainable. I've finally got that world title and I could
not be happier," Kendricks said.
"It was another fantastic competition today and I had to jump high
to take the gold."
Lisek had two failures at 5.65 and another at 5.82 before deciding
to move to 5.89 which he cleared at the first attempt but the next
height proved a bridge too far.
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Sam Kendricks of the U.S. in action. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Lavillenie, unable to start training until May
because of a foot injury, has been short of confidence and form all
season and has failed to register a win in five appearances on the
Diamond League circuit.
He had one failure and skipped two rounds before reaching 5.95
meters where he was agonizingly close on his second attempt,
clearing the bar but nudging it on the way down.
Lavillenie then opted to move to 6.01 where his challenge ended.
Titleholder Shawn Barber of Canada struggled all evening and never
looked in contention.
He had one failure at the lowest height of 5.50 and only just
avoided elimination at 5.65 which he cleared at the third attempt
despite clipping the bar, before going out at 5.75.
Germany's Raphael Holzdeppe, who won the title four years ago in
Moscow, fared even worse as he was eliminated in the very first
round at 5.50.
Belgian's Arnaud Art made an unfortunate exit at the first height,
falling on his third attempt after his hands slipped from the pole.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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