Lavillenie withdraws from Diamond League opener

Reuters/Andreas Hillergren/TT News Agency

DOHA, Qatar -- Pole vault world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie withdrew from the season-opening Diamond League meet in Doha on Tuesday after injuring his right shoulder while running in a 4x100-meter race for his club in France.

Lavillenie hurt his shoulder when he fell at the finish line running the anchor leg at the national club championships in Lyon on Sunday, Diamond League organizers said in a statement.

Lavillenie's manager, Rene Auguin, said the Olympic and European champion was out for 10 days and couldn't compete in Doha on Friday. There was no serious damage to Lavillenie's shoulder, Auguin said, but the injury comes at the start of an important season for the Frenchman, who is aiming to win his first title at the world championships in Beijing in August.

"Thankfully he had not suffered any severe injury," Auguin said in the statement.

Lavillenie was the IAAF athlete of the year and the Diamond League's top pole-vaulter for the fifth straight season in 2014.

He said last month that he wanted to break the Doha meet record of 5.82 meters to kickstart his season. A gold medal at the world championships is the only major title missing from his collection.

"I was feeling fit and ready for the first real challenge of the season," Lavillenie said.

Auguin said in a text message that Lavillenie should be ready for his next scheduled Diamond League meet, the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on May 30.