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Pole Vaulter Has Awesome Jump Disallowed, Then Has World’s Biggest Meltdown

Renaud Lavillenie is the world’s top pole vaulter, and at the European Indoor Championships over the weekend, the reigning Olympic champ showed why, easily beating the field with a best jump of 6.01 meters, a full quarter-meter ahead of his closest competition. So why’d he look like, uh, this:

And this?

Well, you might have noticed him look like very much the opposite of that at the beginning of the videos, wildly celebrating. That was because he’d just cleared the bar on a 6.07-meter jump. 6.07 meters would be a better jump than anyone in history except Sergei Bubka – who, for the uninitiated, is basically the Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky of pole vaulting rolled into one. No one’s topping him – they can only hope to top everyone else except him. And Lavillenie thought he’d done it… but the bar moved just enough to disqualify him. He was not happy about that:

Hey, uh, Renaud: it’s okay. You still won. By, like, a lot.

There we go. Turn that frown upside down.

[The Big Lead]

Gold medal photo via Getty

  • Chaebo

    People don’t understand the history behind this jump. I do have a biased opinion as a pole vault fanatic but this jump was potentially the highest jump recorded in over 20 years. Not a world record but the sport of MEN’s pole vault is not as competitive as it was back in the early and mid 90′s with Bubka and Tarasov. This was a huge stepping stone for Renaud and the pole vault world alike. The vault was marked a miss simply on the case that the cross bar bounced onto the upright. The depression of this vault comes from the fact this vault could have been different if the standard was made differently. (Which to my knowledge there is no rule(s) on how far the top peg must be from the top of the standard.)

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