French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie says the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics until 2021 has allowed him to shake off his injury troubles. The 33-year-old, who won gold at the London Olympics in 2012, said having a year off is "not that bad for him".
"I am happy to say I have no more injury, no more pain, for the first time in three years," he said, reported Xinhua news agency. The former world record holder added that he is focusing solely on triumphing in Tokyo next summer.
"My goal is not to jump high in every competition, but just to jump high one time. I'm trying to change course and focus on Tokyo," he said. On Thursday, the Frenchman took part in the socially distanced Impossible Games, competing via a pre-recorded video link from his back garden using a much-shortened runway.
He bowed out at 5.81 m, five cm is shorter than the best effort by current world record-holder Mondo Duplantis. Reigning world 400-meter hurdles champion Karsten Warholm of Norway stormed to a 33.78-second world best performance in the rarely-run event of 300m hurdles at the Impossible Games.
After the cancellation of the Diamond League meet in Oslo due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers chose to stage an innovative multi-discipline event, featuring athletes mainly from Norway and neighboring countries, behind closed doors with cardboard fans placed in the stands and some competitions held virtually.