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No limits for pole vault star Lavillenie
09 March 2014, 14:51
Newly-crowned pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie insisted on Sunday he was a risk-taker whose limits knew no bounds.
The 27-year-old Frenchman last month cleared 6.16 metres in Donetsk to break Ukraine legend Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old world record by one centimetre.
"It was a strange feeling, because it's not a big difference between jumping 6.16m and 6.01," said Lavillenie, speaking on the sidelines of the World Indoor Athletics Championships which he is sitting out through injury.
"In the pole vault you always know what you're going to do.
"When I saw the bar staying on stands and that it was not going to fall, something crazy happened in my head. It's one of the best feelings I've ever had!"
Lavillenie insisted he did not regret immediately attempting a vault at 6.21m after his new record in Donetsk. He injured his foot in the landing, hence his absence from the world indoor pole vault, won Saturday by Greek Konstadinos Filippidis (5.80m).
"My goal wasn't to break the record again, it was just to try a vault and see how my body would react," he said. "I felt confident and I thought I had a good opportunity to see if my body was able to go to that level.
"It's just the feeling of the moment, the feeling during competition. I have to know and have to see how it's going to be in the future.
"I always want more," he said. "I have no regrets about that."
Lavillenie added: "I'm not fully recovered, but I can walk normally, I still feel a little pain on the foot.
"Because I'm not competing here, I'm taking some good time off to have good physio. I'll be back to training in two weeks, and back to normal in a month."
Lavillenie credited his improvement to changes both technical and physical.
"I've tried to be more powerful on the runway," he said. "I've also switched to a longer, stiffer pole with a grip 7cm higher up.
"For the 6.16m jump, I used a pole I'd never used before. I knew if I was able to bend the pole, I could go high because the pole was very strong."
Lavillenie again underlined his respect for Bubka and his long-standing record.
"Even one year ago I wasn't thinking I'd be able to break it," the Frenchman said.
"Sergei was a great vaulter, very strong, and he offered something different from the others, he was from a different planet.
"He's a very important person for me. I got a lot of inspiration from him, but now the record is broken – it's strange."
Lavillenie added that there was no magical recipe to his success.
"My secret is that I want to push everything to the limit. I take risks but there's no limit in my mind.
"If I have to take a bigger pole or change my grip, I don't think about the bad consequences, only the good."
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