Lavillenie can break the world record, says Suhr

Jenn Suhr says fellow Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie is capable of beating Sergey Bubka’s indoor mark

Renaud Lavillenie (Mark Shearman)

Following Renaud Lavillenie’s clearance of 6.08m in Bydgoszcz last Friday, his fellow Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr says she believes the world record of 6.15m is within his reach.

The Frenchman went to second on the all-time list behind Sergey Bubka with his monster clearance in Poland – the highest in the world for 20 years.

“I’ve been following Renaud’s performances and they’ve been above and beyond what I thought he could do at this stage of the season,” Suhr told the IAAF.

“It’s been spectacular to watch him and his improvement through the years, it’s refreshing.

“I think he can break the world record. I’ve seen it attempted by people before and they haven’t been close, but I’ve watched his attempts and it really looks like he can make it. I really hope he does, and I think he can do it indoors, with the right timing and right conditions.”

World indoor record-holder Suhr was speaking ahead of next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot where she will be one of the USA’s biggest gold medal hopes.

Jenn Suhr (Mark Shearman)

While she is looking forward to seeing what Lavillenie is capable of, the 32-year-old is also excited for her own World Indoors experience.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” said Suhr, who claimed silver when competing at the World Indoors in 2008. “I’ve only ever travelled to Europe once for an indoor competition, and that was the 2008 World Indoors. I’m definitely looking forward to travelling to Poland because I’ve not been there before.

“My preparations have been better than they have been in the past,” she added. “I’ve trained healthy and made so many gains physically. I’m in such good shape right now that I’m actually a little out of timing with my vault because I’m not used to the speed and strength that I have. I’m just waiting for that to match up, which it will in time, so I’m really excited for the indoor season.”

You can read more from the IAAF’s interview with Suhr here.

» See the news and results pages of the latest issue of AW, out Thursday February 6, for more on Lavillenie’s performance in Bydgoszcz

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