Renaud Lavillenie

Renaud Lavillenie: "I’ve flown a plane for the first time in my life" - IAAF Online Diaries

Renaud Lavillenie at the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships (Getty Images)Renaud Lavillenie at the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright

“As Aries Merritt did a few days ago, I am writing my first diary for the IAAF website. I am at once happy, proud but also a bit stressed out because of this opportunity to share my everyday life with you in the months to come!

“I am currently on holiday, which does me good! The indoor season was long and it went really well. As many of you will know, I finished it winning the European indoor title in Gothenburg, where I cleared 6.01m.

“At the time, I was a bit disappointed since my clearance of 6.07m was not accepted. Nevertheless, looking back, I am really happy. I really wanted to clear six metres again. It was very important to do it at the European Indoor Championships since it shows that I can manage to resist pressure during important events.

“It was a perfect competition, with very high bars, but I was not lucky at 6.07m. When one touches the bar, it is more likely to fall than to stay, but the fact that it stayed on in such an improbable place that it was even more infuriating. But that is the rule, and it is part of sport.

“For many people and me, I did go over this height. Given the progress I made, I think that I am able to clear this bar at another time, if all the right conditions are fulfilled.

“I have read that new rules will be set up concerning bar rest pins. This is good because the equipment used today is totally anarchical. Things change from place-to-place; therefore it is important to standardize everything

“I am sure that you are wondering what I think from now about the World record of Sergey Bubka. I am going to answer frankly: I think that it is not inaccessible.

“I know that I can get closer to it but, right now, it is far from being a priority for me, because my philosophy remains the same: the most important is to be prepared and ready to win major championships above all else.

“In order to raise the bar to 6.15m and manage to clear it, I still need to gain consistency. This winter, I managed to go past the 5.90m mark four times. Now, I have to be able to clear 5.95m or 6m more often, if I do not want to look ridiculous when I will attempt to beat his World record.

“A last word on Gothenburg, but this is for specialists! The most interesting vault I made over there was not the one at 6.07m, but the one at 6.01m. I started to be really tired, but all the same I changed my pole, using a 5.10m-14.3 one.

“It is a pole with which I had never gone over any height. This time though, I cleared 6.01m very easily, without touching anything, and being very high.

“As I told you at the beginning of my diary, I have been on holiday but they are now ending. I made the most of it to visit a bit my family. My sister just gave birth to a baby so I visited her, of course. Here we go, I now am an uncle! This is a great joy.

“I pampered myself by riding a motorbike on motor racing circuit, this is one of my passions. Maybe you already know it, but I love strong sensations.

“In addition, and perhaps you are not going to believe it, I’ve flown a plane for the first time in my life.

“I have the good luck to have a friend, a former pole vaulter, who is now inspector of pilots in the army. He proposed to me to fly an Epsilon TB30, the plane which is used to train fighter pilots.

“We did it on the air base of Cognac, next to my home. It was a great moment. I really felt free in the air, 2000 metres above the earth. He allowed me to fly, and I looped the loop and I did spins. We even landed together.

“Now, it is time to start training again. See you my friends!”

Renaud