Lavillenie's 20-win streak ends in chilly Stockholm
AFP Saturday, August 23, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Olympic champion and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie suffered a surprise defeat at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting on Thursday, just five days after the Frenchman wrapped up a third consecutive European title.
On a cold night in the Swedish capital, Lavillenie failed three times to clear 5.60m, a height well outside his world record of 6.16m.
His defeat brought to an end his run of 20 consecutive victories.
"The wind was very difficult today, it was moving the bar around a lot," said Lavillenie.
"I didn't hurt myself, it was just really hard tonight. I was really close to the bar and the pole slipped in my hand so I was scared.
"This was the most difficult competition of the year for me. It was really hard and I was tired from the European Championships. I tried my best and unfortunately it was not good. Now I will rest and try to return to my best."
Nobody managed to register a successful height beyond the modest 5.60m with Greece's Konstantinos Phillipidis, whose own personal best is 5.83m, taking victory after going clear at the first attempt.
Poland's Piotr Lisek and China's Xue Changrui both also cleared 5.60m to take second and third places respectively.
"It was difficult conditions but I tried to get over them. I'm happy with my efforts. Every day we try our best and Lavillenie tried his best. The conditions were too hard for him," said the Greek.
In the men's 100m, Jamaica's Nesta Carter took victory in 9.96sec ahead of Trinidad's Keston Bledman, 10.09 seconds, with Chijindu Ujah of Great Britain finishing in third place in 10.10 seconds.
For Carter, 28, it was his best time of the year although his career best remains 9.78 seconds from August 2010.
U.S. sprinter Michael Rodgers was disqualified for a false start.
There was a world-leading performance in the 5,000m with Ethiopia's Mukhtar Edris clocking 12 minutes 54.83 seconds.
In long jump, South Africa's Godfrey Khotso Mokoena took victory with a personal best for the season of 8.09m.
American sprinter Allyson Felix dominated the women's 200m in a time of 22.85 seconds, more than a second slower than her best time.
The high winds also affected the women's 100m hurdles where America's Queen Harrison won in 12.66 seconds in a race where Australia's Olympic champion Sally Pearson was disqualified for a false start.
Harrison led a U.S. 1-2-3 with Nia Ali in second in 12.96 and Pearson's predecessor as Olympic champion, Dawn Harper-Nelson, in third in 12.99 seconds.
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