Renaud Lavillenie, one of the sport’s biggest stars, will start here as the man to beat.
World record-breaker this season with his 6.16m clearance in Donetsk, the Frenchman managed to piece together a 21-meeting winning streak over the course of eleven-and-a-half months before it unceremoniously came to an end with a no-height in Stockholm last month. He nonetheless managed to win a third European title and a fifth straight Diamond Race trophy, the latter secured with a world-leading 5.93m effort in Brussels.
His chief opponent will be European team-mate Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland, the man who denied Lavillenie the world title in 2011. The European silver medallist topped a season’s best of 5.80m in Berlin but finished a disappointing seventh in Brussels, scaling just 5.55m.
Others to watch in this most unpredictable of events include USA’s Mark Hollis, who topped a career best of 5.83m in August; his Americas team-mate Augusto Dutra of Brazil, who cleared 5.70m to finish second in Paris; and Asia-Pacific top hope Xue Changrui, who scaled a 5.80m Chinese record in Beijing in May.