German pole vaulter Malte Mohr threw down the gauntlet to France’s European Athletics Championships favourite Renaud Lavillenie when he cleared a world leading mark of 5.91m at a meeting in Ingolstadt on Friday.
The 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships bronze medallist went over the personal best height with his second attempt before unsuccessfully attempting a German record height of 6.01m.
“I am very satisfied with this achievement because I did not expect it today,” said Mohr.
“Last week, after the German Championships, I had an intense week of training. To make matters worse, I was stuck in a long traffic jam on the way to Ingolstadt. I only had an hour to prepare and I usually need two,” he added.
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.
Another German pole vaulter Danny Ecker announced earlier this week that he will retire at the end of the season. An injury meant that the 34-year-old was unable to compete at last weekend’s German Championships and he will not go to the European Athletics Championships or Olympic Games.
Ecker won at the 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championships and also took a bronze medal later that same year outdoors at the World Championships.
He holds the German indoor record with 6.00m, which he cleared in 2001, and had a personal best outdoors of 5.93m from 1998.
He plans his farewell competition for 25 August in his home town of Leverkusen.