Harry Coppell became the first British male athlete to win a global Pole Vault title, taking gold in Donetsk with a PB of 5.25m.
The competition came to life when the bar reached 5.00m, at which height USA’s pre-event favourite Devin King exited the competition. He was the top-ranked vaulter coming into the final but managed a best height of just 4.90m, eventually finishing sixth.
Five athletes cleared that height, with Coppell doing so on his first attempt to take the lead. USA’s Paulo Benavides and China’s Huang Bokai both cleared it at the first time of asking, while Israeil’s Lev Skorish and Japan’s Takumi Okamoto needed three attempts each.
Coppell took three jumps to get over the next height, 5.10m, while Huang took the lead momentarily with his second-time clearance as Skorish moved into second.
But at 5.15m, Coppell regained the lead with a second-time clearance as Huang went over on his third try with Skorish exiting the competition.
Both Coppell and Huang went on to clear 5.20m, but once again Huang needed one more attempt than the Briton to set a PB.
Huang ended with three failures at 5.25m, while Coppell nailed it on his last attempt to add five centimetres to his PB. He went on to attempt 5.30m, his first try being his closest, but was more than content to end with a personal best and gold medal.