(CNN) — It was a record some thought would never be broken: Sergey Bubka’s mark in the pole vault.
But Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie — with Bubka cheering him on — did the almost unthinkable by bettering Bubka in the latter’s hometown of Donetsk in Ukraine.
Lavillenie cleared a height of 6.16 meters, surpassing the 6.15 meters Bubka achieved in 1993 on nearly the same day in February.
“I think it’s going to take me some time to come back to earth because it’s incredible,” Lavillenie, the reigning Olympic and European champion, was quoted as saying by the IAAF’s website. “This is a world record that is so mythical, and to clear it on the first jump, without touching (the bar), there’s nothing to say. It’s just a moment to savor.”
Bubka had no issue with being upstaged.
“I think this is a great day, a fantastic performance, I am very happy that Renaud did this record in my home city where I did 6.15,” Bubka was quoted as saying by the IAAF.
“I’m very happy and proud for him, because he’s a great athlete and a fantastic role model.
“I’m not disappointed because I thought this already before, even yesterday when we had a discussion about the record with Renaud. I felt it would be great if this guy could continue and receive the baton from me and bring glory to athletics.”