Athletics

Lavillenie returns to action

Renaud Lavillenie (AFP)
Renaud Lavillenie (AFP)

Aubiere - French world record holder Renaud Lavillenie has made a painless return to pole vault training on Thursday after more than five weeks on the sidelines with a foot injury.

Lavillenie sustained the injury on February 15 in Donetsk while attempting to vault 6.21 metres, having just broken Sergei Bubka's world record by successfully clearing 6.16m.

The injury kept Lavillenie out of this month's World Athletics Indoor Championships in the Polish city of Sopot, where he was favourite to defend his title.

On Thursday, Lavillenie started training again with an eye on this summer's Diamond League series of meetings and the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in August.

He made some 50 vaults, up to a height of 5.35m, and will now likely compete at the April 23-26 Drake Relays in Iowa.

"My 'real' return will be in Eugene on May 31," Lavillenie said.

"I'm relieved to finally be able to get back doing what I'm used to doing."

Lavillenie, who is a four-time Diamond League discipline winner, will also travel to China for the first time to compete in the Shanghai meet of the IAAF's lead series on June 17.

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