Sam Kendricks produced the highest vault of his life to beat world record holder Renaud Lavillenie and world champion Shawn Barber and move to second on this year’s world list with an unexpected victory. The world indoor silver medallist added 6cm to his lifetime best with a third time clearance at 5.88. Lavillenie could go no higher than 5.83, where Kendricks had only just survived, as the Frenchman’s Diamond Race defence got off to a losing start. The Olympic champion then failed twice at 5.88 before making one effort at 5.93. Barber was third, but the Canadian was well below his best with 5.70.
Sam Kendricks: "I knew here in Shanghai, as it was the opening Diamond league of the season, the field would be stacked. We had the world indoor and world outdoor champion and the Chinese vaulters with home field advantage. I just had to take the competition one height at a time and I am pleased to come out on top. I have finished second, third, fourth and fifth in Diamond League meets before, never first."