Renaud Lavillenie soars to victory in London Diamond League

Pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie soared to a stadium record of 6.03m on the second day of the London Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

Renaud Lavillenie soars to victory in London Diamond League

London: Pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie soared to a stadium record of 6.03m on the second day of the London Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

There were also a clutch of national records set in the 2012 Olympic Stadium, notably in the women`s 100m, with double European outdoor sprint champion Dafne Schippers clocking 10.92sec in the final and 19-year-old Briton Dina Asher-Smith 10.99sec in the heats.

But Lavillenie produced the performance of the day in an event that was tagged on to the start of the programme, having been postponed on Friday because of torrential rain.

The 28-year-old Frenchman, crowned as World Athlete of the Year in 2014 after his world record 6.16m vault indoors in Donetsk, sailed over at 6.03m before registering three failures at 6.10m.

It was the second best outdoor performance of Lavillenie`s career, behind his 6.05m clearance at the Eugene Diamond League meeting in May.

It also bettered his winning height from the 2012 Olympics at the same venue (5.97m) and the stadium record he set at the 2013 London Diamond League meeting (6.02m).

"I am very happy," Lavillenie told AFP. "It gives me all the confidence I need before the world championships (in Beijing next month), because this is my last competition before then."

Lavillenie will be looking for his first world outdoor title in Beijing, having taken one silver medal and two bronzes from the last three championships.

His assured form in London shows that the two Diamond League defeats he suffered in Paris and Lausanne earlier this month are distant memories.

The venue was filled with 53,000 spectators when the scheduled programme began and they were treated to the sight of two British records in the space of two minutes.
The first came from Asher-Smith, who was a volunteer carrying athletes` kit at the 2012 Olympics.

She won the opening 100m heat in 10.99sec, an improvement of 0.03sec on the British record she set in May.

In the final, the teenager had to settle for fourth place in 11.01sec as Schippers claimed victory in 10.92sec, improving her Dutch record by 0.02sec, from Commonwealth champion Blessing Okagvare (10.98sec) and Ivorian Murielle Ahoure (11.01sec).

The second UK record came in the women`s long jump, Shara Proctor securing victory with 6.98m, a 3cm improvement on her national mark.

In seventh place with 6.37m, Britain`s Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill registered a season`s best to go with her impressive 12.97m clocking in the 100m hurdles on Friday -- and then recorded a third, 23.49sec for eighth place in the 200m.

On the comeback trail following the birth of son Reggie twelve months ago, Ennis-Hill has yet to decide whether to go the world championships.

"I still need to have a conversation with my coach but I`m really happy with this weekend," she said. "Everything`s coming together."

Jamaica`s Elaine Thompson was a clear winner of the 200m in 22.10sec, taking a chunk of 0.27sec off her personal best.

There were also impressive wins for Kenyans Asbel Kiprop in the Emsley Carr Mile (3min 54.87sec), Mercy Cherono over 5000m (14min 54.81sec), Eunice Sum in the 800m (1 min 58.44sec) and Konsensus Kipruto in the 3000m steeplechase (8min 09.47sec).

For David Rudisha, though, there was no winning return to the track where he broke the 800m world record at London 2012, the tall Kenyan finishing second in 1 min 44.67sec behind his Botswanan rival, Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos, who triumphed in 1min 44.57sec.

Rudisha was not the only defeated Olympic champion.

British long jumper Greg Rutherford finished third with 8.18m -- behind US champion Marquis Dendy (8.38m) and South African Zarck Visser (8.21m).

New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams continued her comeback after surgery with a throw of 18.49m for second place, American Michelle Carter winning with 19.74sec.

There was a grandstand finish to the men`s 400m, South African Wayde van Niekerk surging through to win in 44.63sec as African record holder Isaac Makwala of Botswana faded from first to fourth.