Having failed to win the one global title he did not hold, Renaud Lavillenie could have eased his way down to an unspectacular finale to his summer following his disappointment in Moscow.

Not a chance of it.

As he is ready to show this weekend, Lavillenie is bowing out with a new challenge and potential world record to go with it.

Frenchman Lavillenie, the Olympic and European pole vault champion, has decided to swap one event for 10 events by making his decathlon debut at the 37th Decastar meeting in Talence.

It the last event of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge and while it has Olympic and world champion
Ashley Eaton at the head of the field, Lavillenie will be ready to make a mark of his own.

“After the World Championships, I was upset. I needed a change of scenery, to do something else,” he said speaking on charentelibre.fr.

Well, challenges do not come greater that this one, with that change of scenery taking him to this suburb in Bordeaux where he will have history on his mind.

Lavillenie, 26, won silver in Moscow before ending the Diamond League season in style by winning the Diamond race for his event.

But on Sunday, when he takes to the pole vault runway, he will be looking to the decathlon world record for the event as a target he can pass.

The mark is 5.76m, set by German Tim Lobinger in Leverkusen in 1999, a vault that would be celebrating its 14th anniversary on Monday.

It is likely to have been replaced by then by Lavillenie who would normally expect to clear such heights without a problem.

He has the top the seven heights in the world this year, with his best being his brilliant 6.02m from the Diamond League in London in July.

But now the test will arrive after seven previous disciplines, with the pole vault the eighth of the 10. It is gruelling enough for a regular decathlete, let alone a man whose last multi-events competition was a heptathlon a decade or so ago.

He said: “I’m really a jack of all trades. Running and jumping…I do throughout the year during my workouts. I jumped at the chance (of the decathlon).”

Lavillenie’s results for some of the other events show his all-round talent.

He has a 100m personal best of 11.04, he has run 14.51 for the 110m hurdles and his furthest long jump is 7.37m.

And his presence will add spice to a weekend where Eaton is the favourite in a strong field that includes Eelco Sintinicolaas, of the Netherlands, who was fifth in Moscow, and Germany’s European Champion Pascal Behrenbruch, who was 11th.

Yet it is probably safe to say that when it comes to the pole vault, they will all be competing for second place.


FROM:  http://www.european-athletics.org/news/latest-news/496-general/12219-history-on-the-agenda-for-lavillenie-s-new-challenge.html?keepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=768&width=1024&caption=Latest+News

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