Maksym Mazuryk with a 5.70m victory was on song tonight, in what was otherwise an off key competition.
The event got under way at 5.50m and for Berlin bronze medallist Renaud Lavillenie, who set the French record and world season lead of 6.01m earlier this year, that’s where it ended with three failures.
That early demise robbed the audience of the anticipated core ingredient of this competition, the duel between France’s top-two, his counter part in that scenario Roman Mesnil, the two-time World silver medallist.
But in any case at the next height of 5.60, Mesnil who had cleared 5.50 on the first approach, also fell by the wayside.
In fact with 5.60 completed half of the 8 man field were already back in the changing room!
Progressing to 5.70 were Derek Miles, Maksym Mazuryk, Damiel Dossevi, and Viktoir Chistiakov, who each failed on their first attempts, for Miles it was his first mistake of the day.
But the story, what there was of one, didn’t last much longer as Mazuryk was the only one to succeed, on his second attempt.
The Ukrainian is 26-years-old, a former World Junior champion, with a personal best of 5.82m. If he surprised many with his fourth place finish in Berlin this summer then his victory tonight came as bomb shell.
Maksym Mazuryk was handed this victory on a plate, he was the best of a lack lustre competition but while many of his opponents had no excuses, excepting of course tiredness at the end of a long season, our winner can look the world straight in the face as he was vaulting at the boundary of his career best. He should have been rewarded with a new personal best but none of this attempts at the following 5.85m bar were close.
"I am always competitive," said the winner of $30,000. "I am very satisfied with myself. My victory wasn't a surprise for me because I know I am at the highest level. I was sure that I would have won a big competition this summer, in Berlin or here in Thessaloniki."
Chris Turner for the IAAF