All the equipment necessary for pole vaulting was installed in a new place: on the esplanade at the Hercules port of Monaco. A dozen young athletes performed on the Monegasque stage for the ‘Herculis Perche Tour’ last week to portray their sport in an unprecedented way and thus attract interest for the sport on the Rock. “Offering a more spectacular system than in previous years, we can showcase our sport and attract the curious,” said Nourredine Metiri, a former decathlon participant and responsible for the ninth annual tour from Fréjus to Menton. A DJ with full sound and speakers came to embellish the three-hour show dedicated to pole vaulting. Four elite-level pole vaulters joined the exhibition, marked by the arrival of special guest, Brazilian Olympic champion Thiago Bras. Enough to delight young potentials and seduce spectators.
Renaud Lavillenie excused, Thiago Braz ready
Valentin Lavillenie, accompanied by Kevin Menaldo, was present in the Principality to encourage the pole vaulters’ demonstration, but his brother was not. And for good reason! Renaud Lavillenie stayed with his wife and Iris, their new daughter, born a few days ago in Auvergne. A happy event full of emotion that did not distract him when he clenched his umpteenth title of French champion in Marseille on 16 July, and which hasn’t prevented him from participating in the Herculis meeting.
Duelling at high altitude
The spectators, disappointed but sympathetic, were able to console themselves when Olympic champion Thiago Braz arrived in the port at around 4:30 pm. A small appearance for the 23 year old Brazilian, punctuated by a few words on the microphone and a group photo. He was then available to take selfies with teenage fans. Winner of an epic duel against Renaud
Lavillenie last summer in Rio, Thiago Braz is having a streak of disappointing performances. Recently in Rabat, Morocco, he failed three attempts at 5.40 m. “I feel good. I think I can do a lot better than in the previous competition,” he says with a smile. “This is the first time I have participated in the Herculis meeting, I have things to prove.”