Thierry Vigneron

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Thierry Vigneron
Personal information
Born 9 March 1960

Thierry Vigneron (born 9 March 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 1 June 1980. Vigneron equaled his own outdoor world record of 5.75 m on 29 June 1980. Although Vigneron lost his outdoor world record to another Frenchman, Philippe Houvion, on 17 July 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 20 June 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 28 August 1983, Vigneron vaulted to another outdoor world record again with 5.83 m on 1 September 1983. This record remained unbeaten until 26 May 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 31 August 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 that anyone other than Bubka held the outdoor world record. (Bubka continues to hold the outdoor world record to this day, at 6.14m. However, Bubka's indoor world record of 6.15m was beaten by another Frenchman, Renaud Lavillenie, who vaulted 6.16m, on February 15th, 2014. Ironically, both marks were set in Donetsk, Ukraine, which is Bubka's hometown.)

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
20 June 1981 – 26 June 1981
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Vladimir Polyakov
Preceded by
France Pierre Quinon
Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
1 September 1983 – 26 May 1984
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Sergey Bubka
Preceded by
Soviet Union Sergey Bubka
Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
31 August 1984 – 31 August 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