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article imageLavillenie in injury scare after record pole-vault leap

By AFP     Feb 16, 2014 in World

New pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie could miss the world indoors championships in Poland next month after injuring an ankle following his record leap in Donetsk, French media reports said Sunday.

The French Olympic champion cleared 6.16 metres indoors on Saturday to break Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old world record at the same Donetsk meeting where the Ukrainian great set the old mark in 1993.

Lavillenie, with Bubka watching, then had the bar raised to a towering 6.21 metres, but he failed to complete the jump, injuring his left ankle as he fell backwards.

The fall resulted in a bad laceration on the inside of his foot that required a visit to hospital for stitches.

Lavillenie later told sports daily L'Equipe that he would not take part in any meeting in the buildup to the world championships in Sopot, but that he was still hopeful he would be able to compete in Poland from March 7-9.

"I still have three weeks to get prepared and I do not want to give up, Even on one leg I will give all I have," he said.

France's Renaud Lavillenie (right) laughs with Ukraine's Sergei Bubka after breaking Bubka...
France's Renaud Lavillenie (right) laughs with Ukraine's Sergei Bubka after breaking Bubka's 21-year-old indoor pole vault world record on February 15, 2014, in Donetsk
Alexander Khudoteply, AFP

His father and former coach Gilles said that the wound had required 12 stitches.

"It will sideline him for a fortnight or so. He will not be able to compete in the national championships in Bordeaux, but for the moment it does not compromise his chances of taking part in the world championships," he said.

Lavillenie, who was flying back to Paris on Sunday was heading for a hero's welcome home with high praise flowing in from all quarters. He has scheduled a news conference to talk about his exploit on Monday.

"The New Czar," headlined L'Equipe, saying his giant leap in Ukraine had been "a major landmark in the history of sport."

Bubka, who still holds the outdoor world record of 6.14m set in 1994, told AFP that Lavillenie had begun a new chapter in the event.

"A new era in the sport has arrived," said the 50-year-old, who has forged a new career in sports administration and is a prominent member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"Today the winner is an Olympic champion, someone who already has tasted success several times.

"We were anticipating this happening and we are delighted that it happened here in Donetsk.

"I like this guy a lot.

"I am sure that it is not the last time he will do this and that other stunning successes await him."

Lavillenie, who has yet to win the world outdoor title having garnered two bronzes in 2009 and 2011 and silver last year, had arrived in Donetsk in prime form having broken his own personal record twice last month.

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