Lavillenie vs Bubka

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david bussabarger
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Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby david bussabarger » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:17 pm

Given Lavillenie's recent successes and the promise of more to come, it seems to me it is time to start a serious objective discussion as to who's technique is superior, Lavillenie's or Bubka's?
Note, I start with the premise that Lavillenie obviously does not base his technque on the Bubka/Petrov model. In fact I consider Lavillenie's technique so different that he can be called the anti-Bubka.
If we compare the athletic attributes of both vaulters, Bubka has nearly all the advantages. Bubka is 21/4" taller. He is obviously stronger/more powerful and he is significantly faster. Although some people on this site dispute this, based on reliable sources, Bubka was reported to have run the 100m in 10.3. Lavillenie's best 100m time is 11.03. Note, it is indisputably documented that Bubka is the fastest 6m or better vaulter over the last 5m of the run by a tenth of a second ( unfortunately no time is available for Lavillenie ). The only athletic ability where Lavillenie may have the edge is gymnastic body controll.
Given that Bubka is in nearly all respects a superior athlete,it stands to reason that if Lavillenie equals or breaks Bubka's record, his technique must be considered superior ( this seems like a reasonable agruement even if it is based only on Lavillenie's recent 6.08 vault).

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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby CoachEric » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:19 pm

I start with the premise that Lavillenie obviously does not base his technque on the Bubka/Petrov model


You need to qualify this statement. Yes, his vault looks different, but you cannot assume that Lavillenie's technical approach is not based on the principles of the Petrov model. Please identify which disparities you believe have a positive or negative effect on the outcome of the vault.

Bubka was reported to have run the 100m in 10.3. Lavillenie's best 100m time is 11.03


The important measurement is run speed on the pole vault runway with a pole in hand at the instant before takeoff. Lavillenie is very fast. I doubt there is much disparity, certainly not 10%.

Given that Bubka is in nearly all respects a superior athlete,it stands to reason that if Lavillenie equals or breaks Bubka's record, his technique must be considered superior


Not really. Bubka had dozens of 6m+ vaults and achieved hip height that could have far exceeded 6.14. Lavillenie has a handful of 6m vaults. He's a great vaulter, but he has a way's to go before he becomes the model.

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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby VaultPurple » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:03 pm

I always hear the Bubka 10.3 thing but never really seen the proof on it. From the actual statistics on paper I have seen he was a consistent 9.8-9.9 guy at take off that I am sure hit a few over 10.0. But there have been guys that fast. Huffman and Duplantis both had meets with multiple jumps of 10.0 m/s as I am sure Lavillenie has. Those little guys need the extra speed or they would not be jumping close to the bigger guys.

Someone said Bubka 10.3 to Lavillenie 11.03 (All-Athletics says 11.04). The 100 is about getting up to speed fast, not always hitting the top speed. He may be bad at blocks, he may die after 60m. But he has gone 7.37 in the long jump (24-2) which I think is a better stat to look at. He is very explosive and fast at the take off. You occasionally get a big impulse guy that can go that far without being fast but if you watch video of him long jumping, he looks like he is moving pretty fast and doing it off of speed. Coming off the long jump board he looks more like a 10.5 to 10.7 guy at worst.

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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby hardflex » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:22 am

If jumping more like Bubka would make Renaud jump higher, don't you think he would have tried it by now? And vice versa although Bubka was one of the original high grippers and broke new ground in that area.

I found this with a google search. From here
http://si.com/vault/article/magazine/MA ... /index.htm

In the current age of the springing fiberglass pole, the marks have fallen more quickly, but no one has dominated the sport quite like Warmerdam—until Sergei Bubka. Born in the bleak coal-mining town of Voroshilovgrad in the Ukraine, the son of a Red Army sergeant, Bubka was a natural athlete (10.2 in the 100-meter dash, nearly 26 feet in the long jumpwas actually 25'7 based on another article on him) who was lucky enough to come in contact with Vitaly Petrov, a pole vaulter and coach. Petrov taught him all he knew and Bubka used what he learned to become a phenomenon. In 1983, 19 and unknown, he turned up at the World Championships in Helsinki and won with a vault of 18'8�".

Bubka was indeed a phenomenal athlete, the best ever to concentrate solely on the vault. I only know of one other vaulter that long jumped over 25' although there are probably some Decats that did.

I think that's what makes Lavillenie's jumps more impressive, he does a lot with his athletic talent.

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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby CoachEric » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:30 am

If jumping more like Bubka would make Renaud jump higher, don't you think he would have tried it by now?

Oh so that's it huh? Why didn't I think of that? I'll just tell my athletes to jump like Bubka or Renaud - that should guarantee results.

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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby hardflex » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:15 pm

Well, my point is that Lavillinie could probably mimic Bubka's vault if he wanted. But he's giving away a percentage in speed/power (as evidenced by their long jump marks) and also a percentage in the angle of the plant due to his smaller size. It's not likely he would out jump Bubka given those handicaps. So he found a slightly different way to get there with what he had available to him. In my view, if Renaud jumped exactly like Bubka, he would not jump as high as he does now.

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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby vaultwest » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:36 pm

Dave Nielsen did a study at the summit this year and he sent me some results. He and his assistants were looking at the speed of high school boy and girl vaulters with and without poles. Interesting study but at the same time he got competition speeds on some of the elite vaulters and while Lavillenie did not have a great meet I would say from my observation he was having timing problems on his plant and not speed on the runway issues. Dave recorded and average of 9.49 m/s for him, so fast but not in the same league as most of the 6.00 meter vaulters, or certainly Bubka's documented near 10.0m/s speed. Interesting food for thought
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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby altius » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:24 pm

"but not in the same league as most (MOST?)of the 6.00 meter vaulters, or certainly Bubka's documented near 10.0m/s speed". Hooker was usually around 9.2 and had some big jumps - 5.90 plus -under 9m/sec and you will never find evidence of Bubka running 10msec in a jump - an urban myth. Around 9.7 is closer to the mark.

Enjoy the debate folks - it is what makes PVP so interesting - but what are YOUR athletes doing - that is presuming you do coach ; we know that many who post with great certainty here do not.

Given his antipathy/antagonism towards Bubka, or at least his technical model, I really would appreciate it if David Bussabarger would detail its weaknesses from a bio mechanical point of view - he can then enter into a debate with PVDaddy on the issue. I await that with interest. Better still perhaps he could put forward his ideal technical model illustrated with film examples from the real world.

Finally just to remind a few of you - the Cold war is over -and anyway the Ukraine, like most of its former member states, was then an unwilling part of the Soviet Union.
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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby PVDaddy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:20 pm

Or Perhaps Altius and Agapit can debate about why they are such big fans of Pulling early throughout the downswing?
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

david bussabarger
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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby david bussabarger » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:08 pm

I want to begin my post by saying the reason I initiated this debate was to challenge the wide spread assumption that the Bubka/Petrov, as exemplified by S. Bubka, represents ideal technique. And futher, all other styles or vartiations in technique are inferior or flawed.
Bubka's speed is well documented by google ( thanks PV Nerd ) T&F news and a runway speed chart of 6m vaulters done by Petov himself. Although Lavillenie looks very fast on the runway appearences can be decieving. It is my point of view that a vaulter with a best of 10.3 100m has got to be significantly faster on the runway than a vaulter with 11 second speed. Add this to the fact that Bubka is also taller and stronger and Bubka ends up with big physical advantages over Lavillenie.
So how has Lavillenie become a legitiment threat to Bubka's record? It seems obvious to me that Lavillenie has a technical edge over Bubka.
Although I could get into a long discussion about the many differences between the 2 vaulter's technique, I think the most important difference involves the execution of the takeoff. The B/P model, as exemplified by S. Bubka, empasizes developing upward movement in the arms and legs as the vaulter takes off and delaying the bending of the pole until the vaulter is airbourne. Lavillenie, on the other hand, utilizes a forward/upward spring off action and drives more directly into the pole during the take off. This, inturn, produces greater penetration force vs Bubka. The generation of greater penetration force promotes superior compression of the pole's axis during the bottom 1/2 of the vault. This allows a high handgrip while being lower to the ground during the bottom 1/2 of the vault and produces a better recoil action in the pole. In effect, overall, Lavillenie does a much better job exploiting the catatpultic action of the pole vs Bubka.
All this being said I don't think Lavillenie's technique is ideal either. But, it is more technically advanced. After all, the B/P model is very old ( it dates back to the 80's ).

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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby KirkB » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:05 pm

David, I don't mind continuing this on-going debate, but I do want to ensure that we're not going to just rehash old opinions and old posts. I do hope that we can pick up where we left off, which I believe was in regards to the advantages (or not) of the free takeoff.

In the "What is your correct takeoff point?" thread http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=27151&hilit=free+takeoff, PVStudent expounded on this topic in no less than 18 posts, each a carefully written article, which included color pics and diagrams with a lot of facts and figures which had well-founded scientific (or real world measurement) sources.

You did join the discussion back in June of 2013, but PVStudent continued to compile his posts thru July and August, without any comments from yourself. I believe he is still welcoming any feedback, so if you have further questions to ask his re his series of posts on that thread, now would be a good time to ask them.

Before we jump into a debate re your latest position re Lavillenie v. Bubka, I think you should clarify your position re PVStudent's posts. Do you accept all of his findings, or do you totally reject them? Or?

That's the first question. The next question is in regards to Lavillenie's takeoff being free or not, and if not, then do you think he's purposely trying to bend the pole BEFORE takeoff, or do you think he's striving for more and more of a free takeoff, and being successful in being closer and closer to a free takeoff now, compared to a few years ago when he was a sub-5.80 vaulter?

If we can start with your clarifications re his free takeoff (or not), then hopefully we can move forwards with new discussions and new data, rather than all the pundits just digging in their heels with their old opinions. Clearly Lavillenie is doing SOMETHING different this year (compared to his sub-5.80 jumps 6 years ago), so what is it?

Here's his annual PR progression from his website (thanks, Wan):

Code: Select all

2002 3.40 2.80i
2003 4.30 3.80i
2004 4.60 4.20i
2005 4.70 4.60i
2006 5.22 5.05i
2007 5.45 5.35i
2008 5.65 5.81i
2009 6.01 5.82i
2010 5.94 5.85i
2011 5.90 6.03i
2012 5.97 5.95i
2013 6.02 6.01i
2014 6.08i

His breakthru years were 2008-2009. What changed in those 2 years? Does anyone have any measurements of where he was taking off prior to that, or whether he was bending his pole before takeoff before or after that? i.e. How much "in" was his takeoff back then, compared to today?

The reasons for his PR progression in the years since 2009 would also be interesting, but I don't know if we can draw any conclusions based on him clearing 6.01 in 2009 and 6.08 in 2014 - it's not THAT much different. But how did he jump from 5.45 in 2007 to 5.65 in 2008, and then to 6.01 in 2009? That's what I'd like to know.

He was born Sep 18, 1986, so he's 27 now and he was already 21 in 2008 when he started his breakthru. i.e. He was a mature adult prior to his breakthru, so I think (but I could be wrong) it's not just normal body maturation that caused his breakthru (that usually occurs when much younger vaulters have breakthrus).

Quite frankly, I think the best source of data re all this would be himself, his coach, and those close to him. I honestly don't think we're going to get very far by pundits dissecting his vids. That method seems way too subjective, because it's usually accompanied by opinions instead of facts (however, some people highly skilled in the art - PVStudent, for example - can actually take quite accurate readings from video footage).

Can anyone provide any quotes from Renaud Lavillenie himself re what his INTENT is today? Is he striving for more of a free takeoff, or is he striving for more of a bend prior to takeoff? That's the key question that I hope someone can ask either Renaud or his coach (or perhaps his brother).

Kirk
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Re: Lavillenie vs Bubka

Unread postby palm1234 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:15 am

KirkB wrote

>>>His breakthru years were 2008-2009. What changed in those 2 years?

I remember having read from Jean Galfione something along the lines
"When Renaud had a PB of 5,60, he was not more promising than any other guy with such a PB. It is wrong to say "It was easy to see he would clear 6m one day"."
It was a talk between Renaud and Jean, maybe in the french sport news lequipe.fr

Renaud was (very) far from being a young promising athlete, his PB when aged 18 to 20 would have him fired from any top training group.


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