Renaud Lavillenie kept the European medal rush going with silver in the pole vault at the Olympic Games in Rio on Monday evening.
On a night of rain and tricky conditions, the Frenchman narrowly missed out on clearing 6.08m as Thiago Braz Da Silva brought glory for the home nation with gold.
The Brazilian had gone over at 6.03m at the second attempt, a height which Lavillenie twice failed to negotiate. The defending champion then opted out of his third go at it, raised the bar even higher to 6.08m, but it was not to be in a competition which saw American Sam Kendricks win bronze (5.85m).
Lavillenie vowed to return to win gold again after an event where he had four first-time clearances of 5.75m, 5.85m, 5.93m and his final mark, 5.98m.
“I feel a little unlucky. The bar fell from nothing at 6.03m. I'll be back to win the gold back,” he said.
Renaud Lavillenie médaillé d'argent olympique du saut Ã la perche avec 5,98 m ! #Argent #Athlétisme #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/uVNvAyh7H7— FFA (@FFAthletisme) August 16, 2016
It was a good night for current and previous European 400m hurdles champions.
Fresh from her glory in Amsterdam last month, Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen won her race in 55.20 and in the final of the six heats, 2014 gold medallist Eilidh Doyle, of Great Britain, won hers in 55.46.
“I was quite nervous tonight,” said Doyle. “I have to admit, quite unusually so. I am relieved to have got through that round safely.”
Poland’s Joanna Linkiewicz, who was runner-up to Petersen in the European Athletics Championships, looked good too as she won her heat in in 56.07.
European athletes impressed in the men’s 110m hurdles, with France’s Amsterdam champion Dimitri Bascou (13.31) the joint-second quickest as he won his heat to reach the semi-finals. Spain’s Orlando Ortega (13.32) and Greece’s Konstadinos Douvalidis (13.41) also won their first round races.
TONIGHT’S FINALS (All times CET)
1:30am - Men’s High Jump
3:30am - Women’s 1500m
3:45am - Men’s 110m hurdles