Interview with the 2012 Olympic pole vault champion on world records, injury and his future focus

Renaud Lavillenie has said it was bittersweet to lose his world pole vault record to Mondo Duplantis, with the Frenchman backing the Swedish 20-year-old to jump as high as 6.25m in future.

Lavillenie had held the world record with his best of 6.16m until Duplantis broke it twice in quick succession in February.

READ MORE: Mondo Duplantis raises his own world record in Glasgow

“I knew he was a guy who was able to break my record, but I didn’t think he would do it in 2020,” Lavillenie told the Paris edition of the Wanda Diamond League Call Room.

“But that’s the beauty of the sport. Nothing is pre-written, anything can happen on the day.”

And the 2012 Olympic champion added that when he saw how Duplantis was jumping in Torun, Poland on February 8, he knew his time was up.

“When I saw him jumping, I knew he was going to break it,” Lavillenie said. “I won’t say I was happy, because it’s a strange feeling to lose the world record. But I was happy he made it because he is a good friend of mine.”

The record now stands at 6.18m, but Lavillenie believes that Duplantis can go far higher than that.

“I think he will be able to break the record again in a few years,” he added. “He could be in shape to jump around 6.20m, 6.25m. He has the capacity for that. We just have to wait and see.”

Speaking on the latest Call Room show, Lavillenie also explained how the coronavirus crisis and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has allowed him to shake off his injury troubles.

“Having a year off is not that bad for me,” he said.

“When I look at the last two or three years which weren’t so easy with the physical programme, I would say having an off-season is not so bad.

“I’m happy to say I have no more injury, no more pain, for the first time in three years.”

The seven-time Diamond League champion also said that he is now able to focus on building up to a single, triumphant performance in Tokyo next year.

“My goal is not to jump high every competition, but just to jump high one time,” he explained. “I’m trying to change course and focus on Tokyo.


The full interview with Lavillenie is available to watch as part of the Paris edition of the Wanda Diamond League Call Room below. The show also includes interviews with Wayde van Niekerk and Alysha Newman, as well as highlights from the last 10 years of the Paris Diamond League.

The show first aired on June 13 and is available to watch back below.

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