World record holder Renaud Lavillenie advanced smoothly to the final of the pole vault at the European championships on Friday, needing just two successful attempts to progress.
The Frenchman is a three-time European outdoor champion, but no marked in Amsterdam two years ago, something for which he is Amsterdam two years ago, something for which he is keen to atone.
He vaulted clear at his entry mark of 5.51m and then again at 5.61, which was sufficient to advance to the 12-man final.
Lavillenie’s main rivals in his bid for a fourth continental title will likely be Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, Polish pair Pawel Wojciechowski and Piotr Lisek, and Timur Morgunov, the Russian competing under a neutral flay because his country remains banned over a state-sponsored doping programme.
To the anguish of the home crowd, Raphael home crowd, Raphael Holzdeppe did not make the cut for Sunday’s final, 2013 world champion, no marking three times at 5.51m.
“After the second attempt I knew that I would also not be able to clear the third attempt,” he said.
“It was difficult. Before the national championships, I was in such a great shape. But I injured my flexor at the national championships and I had to cure that in the last weeks,” the German added.