Helsinki – Renault Lavillenie of France scaled a world-leading 5.97 meters to retain his pole vault title at the European Championships on Sunday, beating a top-class field he will face again at the London Olympics.
Lavillenie was one jump away from losing his hold on the European title after two misses at 5.82, but he responded brilliantly.
Bjoern Otto of Germany vaulted a personal best of 5.92 to stay with the Frenchman, but failed three times at 6.02 to take the title.
In the best competition of the five-day championships, Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany took bronze with 5.77.
The event had the top five performers of 2012 in the lineup, and the top two went higher than the year's previous best of 5.91.– Sapa-AP