Renaud Lavillenie has offered his support to Sergey Bubka, the man whose world pole vault record he broke last year, ahead of next month’s International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Presidential election- although he has also said Sebastian Coe would be an excellent leader for his sport.
Speaking on the eve of the IAAF Diamond League meeting, France’s Olympic pole vault champion admitted that he hoped Bubka, whose longstanding world record he broke in Donestk last year when he cleared 6.16 metres, would succeed Lamine Diack as IAAF President in the election that will be held on August 19 in Beijing ahead of the World Championships.
“I think both men have got some great ideas for the future development of our sport,” Lavillenie, the IAAF Men's World Athlete of the Year in 2014, said.
“Both Sergey and Seb would be very great as the new President.
“But I am not shying away from showing my support for Sergey.
"We are close friends, and of course we have the pole vault in common.
“Of course I hope that the pole vault family defeats the middle-distance family in next month’s election.
"But as I say, both would make excellent leaders for our sport.
"Athletics right now needs to have fresh ideas and the zeitgeist to evolve in the right direction, particularly in terms of regulation."
Lavillenie added that he would consider continuing his career until 2024 if Paris were successful in their bid to host the Olympics in that year.
“Paris has bid for the 2024 Games, and if they win them, this is my home, my country, and I will continue with my career all the way to those Olympics," said Lavillenie, who would be nearly 37 by then.
He added that he was feeling “positive and optimistic” about getting back to business as usual in the Stade De La Pontaise, just five days after his disappointing fifth place in the pole vault at the Paris Diamond League meeting.
“I am very glad Lausanne has come just five days after Paris, so I don’t have to think back too much,” said Lavillenie, who could only manage 5.71m in the Stade de France but who is now targeting the eight-year-old Stadium record here of 5.91m set by Brad Walker of the United States.
“What is important is to recover physically, and that is what I have done.
“Such things happen in this world, and the pole vault is no different. It can happen to anyone.
"I have never said I was unbeatable - that is the point of sport, you try to beat your opponent."
Lavillenie added: “People expect great results from each and every event.
"But it doesn’t always happen like that.
“Two years ago it was the opposite for me – I had a bad result Lausanne and then I went to Paris and won with 5.92.
“Here I am in Lausanne, ready to bounce back. I am positive and optimistic.
“There are four more events to come before the World championships, so I am not looking backwards but forwards. Now I want to get back to my usual level.
“My focus for tomorrow will be on winning four more points in the Diamond Race – that is really important for me.
"I think I will probably have to jump around 5.91 to do that.
"If so, why can’t I break the Stadium record tomorrow?”
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