Renaud Lavillenie triumphs at 4th straight European indoors

PRAGUE (AP) Renaud Lavillenie proved his class again by winning a fourth straight pole vault title at the European Indoor Championships on Saturday.

The Frenchman vaulted 5.75 and 5.90 meters to leave behind the field. He cleared a year-best 6.04 at his second attempt for the championship record.

Then he tried 6.17, 0.01 higher than the world indoor record he set a year ago, but he failed in his three attempts.

''I'm really happy,'' said Lavellenie, who also triumphed in 2009, `11 and `13.

''I don't want to have any limits,'' he added. ''Maybe 6.20, maybe more.''

His his second attempt at 6.17 was the most promising.

''I was lacking a bit of energy,'' he said. ''And only 99 percent is not enough to do a world record. Yet, it was one of my highest jumps ever.''

Russia's Aleksandr Gripich took the silver medal, and Poland's Piotr Lisek claimed the bronze after both cleared 5.85.

In the men's triple jump, the 2008 Olympic champion Nelson Evora of Portugal won with 17.21 meters, 0.17 ahead of Pablo Torrijos of Spain. Romania's Marian Oprea was third.

Home favorite Pavel Maslak was the fastest in the men's 400 meters to retain his title, and add a third straight indoors gold, including last year's worlds.

Maslak was clearly ahead after the first 200, and stretched his lead at the finish straight to win in 45.33 seconds, a championship record. Dylan Borlee of Belgium was almost a second behind in second, and Rafal Omelko of Poland was third.

Nataliya Pyhyda of Ukraine was first in the women's 400, with Indira Terrero of Spain second.

Mariya Kuchina of Russia won the women's high jump after clearing 1.97, her second straight indoor gold after winning at last year's indoor worlds. Then, she shared the trophy with Kamila Licwinko of Poland. Licwinko, who is the best in the world this year with 2.02, had to settle for the bronze with 1.94, while Alessia Trost of Italy got silver after clearing 1.97.

''I'm not satisfied with my result today but I'm happy to get the European indoor title clearly,'' Kuchina said.

In the 3,000, Turkey's Ali Kaya won the men's race, and Russia's Yelena Korobkina the women's.

Ivana Spanovic of Serbia took gold in the women's long jump with a leap of 6.98 meters, and Anita Marton of Hungary had the best throw of 19.23 meters in the women's shot put.

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