Lavillenie to miss Paris Olympics after failing to clear qualifying mark

France's Renaud Lavillenie (Valentine CHAPUIS)
France's Renaud Lavillenie (Valentine CHAPUIS)

France's 2012 Olympic pole vault champion and former world record holder Renaud Lavillenie will miss the Paris Games after failing to achieve the qualifying height in his final chance at the French championships on Sunday.

Lavillenie, 37, needed to clear 5.82 metres, but he passed at the opening height of 5.60m before failing three times at 5.72m.

"If not doing the Paris Games means I get to do two or three world championships more, I'll take it," said Lavillenie.

"It's not serious, it's not a drama in itself," he added of his non-qualification.

"I will take a week's holiday with my children, it won't hurt me, and above all, I will continue to work on what I have managed to put in place over the last few months."

After triumphing at the London Olympics, Lavillenie went on to break the world record in 2015 when his 6.16m at an indoor meet in Donetsk bettered Sergey Bubka's long-standing record of 6.14m.

Lavillenie travelled to the 2016 Rio Olympics as favourite but had to settle for silver, losing out to Brazilian Thiago Braz da Silva.

The Frenchman is also a three-time European champion and a three-time world indoor gold medallist.

He has also won one silver and four bronze medals at the world outdoor championships.