Alex Chapelle of France cleared 5.55m to win the men’s pole vault in the year’s best junior performance. The depth of the entire competition was impressive as the top eight vaulters (and nine of the 13 finalists) had their best ever clearances in what could be seen as the deepest competition ever at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Nine vaulters were still active at 5.40m, seven at 5.45m, and six at 5.50m.
Chapelle needed only six attempts to win, entering at 5.20m, clearing that and 5.35m on his first attempts. His clean sheet was spoiled at 5.45m, which he went over on his second attempt, but he then hit 5.50m and 5.55m on his first attempts as well.
Chapelle closed with three attempts at 5.64m, which would be a French junior record, but was unsuccessful.
Silver went to Russia’s Daniil Kotov, whose record was even cleaner than Chapelle’s through to 5.50m, but Kotov was unable to clear 5.55m.
Germany’s Oleg Zernikel also carried a clean sheet up to 5.50m but had a single miss there, which was enough to relegate him to bronze.
USA’s Devin King, the only vaulter other than Chapelle who had cleared 5.45m before the competition (in King’s case, at an exhibition street vault), was the fourth vaulter over 5.50m but missed out on a medal because of having more misses at lower heights.
Chapelle follows Jean Galfione, who won the junior pole vault title for France in 1990.
He will now be hoping to emulate Galfione in another way as the latter went on to win Olympic and world indoor titles in an illustrious senior career.
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