French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie thought he had produced one of the greatest jumps in history at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg only to be denied by what he called a ‘stupid rule.’
After already wrapping up the gold medal with an effort of 6.01m, the Olympic champion decided to go for a whopping 6.07m attempt which would have made him the second-highest jumper in the sport’s history after Ukrainian legend Sergei Bubka.
Lavillenie cleared the bar and wheeled away in celebration only to then be left baffled when he saw an official raise the red flag for an invalid jump.
As you can see near the end of the video above, Lavillenie made enough contact with the bar for it to bounce out of its peg-holding position, and despite the bar not falling, that was enough for the officials to deem it an unsuccessful jump.
Lavillenie was clearly enraged with the decision as he kicked an advertising hording, argued with judges and then collapsed to the floor.
“This should have been an extraordinary day but I am left with an incomplete feeling. I know that I made it, I have seen the videos which show it. I am the second best performer of all time,” said Lavillenie.
“These are stupid rules. I am not mincing my words, everyone knows it. We have so many obstacles in the way these days. We have reduced the time allowed to jump, we have reduced the length of our spikes.
“It’s not the same as 20 years ago when Bubka was setting world records. I would have had no problems 20 years back when I could have gone even higher.”