Athletics: Suhr and Lavillenie win pole vault titles at world indoors

(From left) Greece's Ekaterini Stefanidi and Americans Jennifer Suhr and Sandi Morris celebrating at the IAAF World Indoor athletic championships in Portland, Oregon, on March 17.
(From left) Greece's Ekaterini Stefanidi and Americans Jennifer Suhr and Sandi Morris celebrating at the IAAF World Indoor athletic championships in Portland, Oregon, on March 17. PHOTO: AFP

PORTLAND (AFP) - Olympic champion Jenn Suhr of the United States claimed the first gold medal of the World Indoor Athletics Championships here Thursday with victory in the women's pole vault.

The 34-year-old US star - whose previous best finish at a world indoors was a silver medal in 2008 - took gold after a flawless display at the Oregon Convention Center, claiming the title with a championship record clearance of 4.90m.

Sandi Morris of the United States took silver, while Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece claimed the bronze.

The victory was the first world indoor crown for Suhr, whose previous best finish was a silver medal in 2008.

World record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France cruised to victory in the men's pole vault, taking home gold for the second time in his career.

The reigning 2012 Olympic champion produced a supremely confident display, assuring himself of gold with a jump of 5.90m.

Sam Kendricks of the United States took silver and Poland's Piotr Lisek claimed bronze.