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Mike Rosenbaum

Lavillenie, Bondarenko, Menkov and Tamgho Jump to Glory in 2013

By January 23, 2014

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In each men's jumping event, one athlete was clearly the world's best in 2013, with no jumper more dominant for most of the year than pole-vaulter Renaud Lavillenie. The Frenchman boasted the top seven jumps of the year, clearing a world-leading 6.02 meters (19 feet, 9 inches) in London. Lavillenie also won four Diamond League meets and the overall season title. But he faltered a bit at 2013's biggest event, the World Championships. In the final, Lavillenie topped 5.89/19-3 but had four misses on his scorecard, while Raphael Holzdeppe cleared the same height without a miss to take the gold medal. Lavillenie settled for silver with Bjorn Otto taking the bronze.

Bohdan Bondarenko's season-long dominance was the story of men's high jumping in 2013. Bondarenko posted four of the year's top 10 jumps, including a world-leading 2.41/7-10 twice. Bondarenko cleared that world-best height in Lausanne and then again in Moscow. The latter success set a World Championships record, leaving Mutaz Essa Barshim in second and Derek Drouin in third. Barshim had the year's third-best jump, clearing 2.40/7-10, while Drouin and Erik Kynard also scored in the year's top 10. Bondarenko won five Diamond League events, to Barshim's two, and took the overall championship.

In the long jump, Aleksandr Menkov posted four of the year's top six leaps and saved his best for the World Championships, which he won with a world-leading jump of 8.56/28-1. Ignisious Gaisah took the silver medal. Moscow bronze medalist Luis Rivers had the second-best jump of 2013, reaching 8.46/27-9, while Eusebio Caceres was fifth on the 2013 charts. Menkov earned the Diamond League title, winning four of the seven meets.

Teddy Tamgho rebounded from several injury-troubled seasons and peaked at the right time in 2013, leaping a world-leading 18.04/59-2 to take the World Championship gold medal and become the third 18-meter jumper in history (after Jonathan Edwards and Kenny Harrison). Pedro Pichardo was second in the world at 17.69/58-, posted three of the year's top five jumps and took the silver medal in Moscow, with Will Claye earning the bronze. Christian Taylor was fourth on the triple jump charts with a season-best 17.66/57-11. Taylor also won four Diamond League meets and took the overall series championship.

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