Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie will be a huge favourite to defend his European title in Helsinki. The 2012 World indoor champion has looked virtually unbeatable this year.

However German pole vaulter Malte Mohr threw down the gauntlet to Lavillenie when he bettered the Frenchman’s world leading mark of 5.90m with a clearance of 5.91m at a meeting in Ingolstadt on Friday.

Mohr will be looking for some redemption in Helsinki as he failed to progress beyond the qualifying rounds at the last European Athletics Championships in Barcelona two years ago.

Mohr’s compatriot Bjorn Otto lies third on the season’s list having cleared 5.82m in Chule Vista, but the German lacks experience and was beaten at his National Championships by Mohr.

Raphael Holzdeppe was second to Mohr in the German championships and has cleared 5.77m and Germany have named four strong athletes to choose from.

The Czech Republic’s Jan Kudlicka was a finalist last time and should be able do so again. Russia’s lone entry will be Serguy Kucheryanu, who has jumped just 5.55m this year.

A number of competitors have cleared 5.72m this summer with the pick of them probably France’s Romain Mesnil who aged 35 is well short of the form that saw him jump 5.95m nine years ago.

Finland’s representative is Eemeli Salomaki, who could make the final if he can reproduce his 5.60m best.



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