Thierry Vigneron

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Thierry Vigneron
Personal information
Born March 9, 1960

Thierry Vigneron (born March 9, 1960 in Gennevilliers, Hauts-de-Seine) is a retired French pole vaulter. In the 1980s, he was among the world's leading pole vaulters. He broke the world record in the event four times and was the last man to hold the world record (for less than 24 hours in August 1984) before Sergey Bubka, who would hold on to it until February 2014.

Biography[edit]

Vigneron burst onto the world stage by unexpectedly beating the 5.72 m outdoor world record of Poland's Władysław Kozakiewicz with a jump of 5.75 m on June 1, 1980. Vigneron equaled his own outdoor world record of 5.75 m on June 29, 1980. Although Vigneron lost his outdoor world record to another Frenchman, Philippe Houvion, on July 17, 1980, he was one of the favorites at the 1980 Summer Olympics. However, Vigneron could not rise to the challenge; he could only finish in 7th position at 5.45 m. The 1980 Olympics pole vault title was won by Kozakiewicz, who also reclaimed the outdoor world record from Houvion with a jump of 5.78 m in that Olympic final. On June 20, 1981, Vigneron reclaimed the outdoor world record with a 5.80 m jump, only to lose it to the Soviet Union's Vladimir Polyakov six days later.

After yet another Frenchman, Pierre Quinon, raised the outdoor world record to 5.82 m on August 28, 1983, Vigneron vaulted to another outdoor world record again with 5.83 m on September 1, 1983. This record remained unbeaten until May 26, 1984 when Sergey Bubka cleared 5.85 m just weeks before the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, in which Vigneron took the bronze medal while Bubka was absent due to the Soviet-led boycott. On Aug 31, 1984, less than three weeks after the 1984 Olympics had ended, Bubka beat Vigneron in a memorable contest in Rome in which the Frenchman briefly retook the outdoor world record with 5.91 m and the Ukrainian cleared 5.94 m immediately afterwards. It was the last time anyone other than Bubka had held the outdoor world record.

This was the high-water mark of Vigneron's career. Despite a bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics, a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in 1985, a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in 1987, and a silver medal at the 1987 World Championships in Rome, Vigneron was never able again to match Bubka who brought the outdoor world record to its present-day mark of 6.14 m.

Vigneron retired from pole vaulting in 1996.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Poland Władysław Kozakiewicz
Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
1 June 1980 – 17 July 1980
Succeeded by
France Philippe Houvion
Preceded by
Poland Władysław Kozakiewicz
Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
June 20, 1981 – June 26, 1981
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Vladimir Polyakov
Preceded by
France Pierre Quinon
Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
september 1, 1983 – May 26, 1984
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Sergey Bubka
Preceded by
Soviet Union Sergey Bubka
Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
August 31, 1984 – August 31, 1984
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Sergey Bubka
Sporting positions
Preceded by
United States Dave Volz
France Jean-Michel Bellot
Men's Pole Vault Best Year Performance
1983
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Sergey Bubka