Robert Renner improved his personal best to 5.25m to win Slovenia’s first gold of the championships and only second title in the history of the event in the boys’ pole vault final here in Lille.
Pre-event favourite, Melker Svard Jacobsson of Sweden, a 5.45m jumper indoors, was somewhat victim of his ambitious tactics as he ended the competition in second with his best clearance of the day at 5.15m – one of only two clean jumps today.
USA’s Jacob Blankenship took bronze with 5.05m in a competition where no other finalist went higher than 4.80m.
The first event on the programme for the final day of the IAAF World Youth Championships, the boys’ pole vault final reached a turning point as early as the bar was raised to 4.95m, only the third height today. At such an early stage in the competition, only Renner and Blankeship sailed over with the US athlete holding a temporary lead courtesy of his clean sheet against Renner’s opening failure at 4.80m.
World youth leader Heorhiy Bykov of Ukraine had decided to pass following his big clearance at 4.80m; Jacobsson had yet to even get started having asked for an opening height of 5.05m.
One after the other, all other athletes failed, leaving only the foursome still in contention for three medals.
Blankenship was the first to sail over 5.05m at the first time of asking with Jacobsson responding with a huge first effort to share the lead with the American. Renner also cleared with his first try but remained in third.
But the height would prove too much for Bykov who was clearly not having his best day. Having passed the previous height, he suddenly found himself off the podium.
The bar was raised by 10 centimetres and that marked the end of the championships for Blankenship whose bronze was already secured.
It took both Jacobsson and Renner two tries at 5.15m leaving the Swede still at the top of the standings but that is when his tactics failed him. Jacobsson passed and for the first time today Renner took the lead with a tremendous effort at 5.20m.
The pressure was on the Swede, and with the bar now at 5.25m he missed his first try. To add to the nervousness, Renner strengthened his lead as he responded with a clearance and personal best.
Jackobsson failed his last two attempts and remained in silver medal position.
The bar was raised to a would-be championship record 5.31m but Renner failed with all of his three attempts, the third one actually being very close but little did it matter for the newly crowned Slovenian world youth champion.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF