Renaud Lavillenie to shine in Salzburg at Silberpfeil Cityjump
Pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie is the star athlete of the Silberpfeil Cityjump in Salzburg on Friday, September 4, in Salzburg, Austria. The event brings athletics to a fabulous city environment at the very centre of Salzburg, which is part of the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage sites. At its heart, the meeting is about what sports can do in terms of compassion and solidarity. It commemorates the fate of 22-year old Austrian pole vaulter Kira Grünberg who broke her neck at a training accident on July 30. She was left quadriplegic, having no movement in her feet and arms from the fifth cervical down. Athletes compete in Salzburg without appearance fee to raise money for Kira and her family.
Unique setting for a spectacular event
Silberpfeil Cityjump takes place for the second time after 2013. At its premiere about 5,000 people watched eventual winner Rasmus Jorgensen of Denmark and Latvian Mareks Arents clearing 5.50m. Both of them are back in town but this time Olympic champion and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France is the overwhelming favourite.
Following his third place at the World Championships in Beijing he will be keen to show his supremacy. When Lavillenie heard about the accident of Kira Grünberg he was quick to offer his support and put the Salzburg meet on his list. Among the competitors will be the former World Youth and Junior Champion Germán Chiaraviglio from Argentina. Athletes perform at “Kapitelplatz” with the fortress “Hohensalzburg” and the baroque buildings of the city providing a dramatic and picturesque backdrop.
The mobile track (“The FlySwat”) that is suitable for pole vault, long jump, triple jump and sprint, is fully in accordance with IAAF rules. Results are eligible for world rankings and records of all kind.
A month ago, the accident of young pole vaulter Kira Grünberg has shocked the public in Austria and throughout Europe. At the same time it evoked waves of sympathy and the urgent drive to do something to help Kira and her family. Various charity races were set up, the largest one with more than 3,000 participants takes place in Vienna on September 2.
Kira remembers the accident clearly and is fully conscious. She is currently at a rehabilitation centre in Bad Häring in the Tyrol. The medical prognosis does not leave much room for improvement, but nothing is set in stone. With a strong will she takes on her difficult situation. “Thank you for thousands of messages! Your support gives me the power to embrace each day and to fight. I promise, I will not give up”, Kira Grünberg was quoted in a statement.