Germany's Raphael Holzdeppe, the gold medal-winning pole vaulter at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, will compete as part of the Baku 2015 Street Athletics events ©Getty Images

Reigning world champions Raphael Holzdeppe and Bohdan Bondarenko will be among the 24 athletes who will participate in the Baku 2015 street athletics events, but World Athlete of the Year Renaud Lavillenie will not. 

Although not part of the Baku 2015 sport programme, street athletics - to be held in the second week of the European Games - will bring the excitement of live sport to the Azerbaijani capital’s famous Fountain Square.

German pole vaulter Holzdeppe struck gold at the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Moscow, where Ukrainian high jumper Bondarenko won his title.

Holzdeppe preceded his triumph by claiming bronze medals at the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki and the London Olympic Games later that same year, while Bondarenko followed up his success by securing gold at continental level last year in Zurich. 

Both head strong starting line-ups in their respective events, which will be staged alongside a women’s pole vault competition featuring two finalists from the London 2012 Olympic Games, Germany's Silke Spiegelburg and Lisa Ryzih.

Spiegelburg and Ryzih finished second and third respectively at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. 

Pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie was touted as a potential participant, but organisers have confirmed to insidethegames that the Frenchman will not be competing, with no specific reason given.

Lavillenie was crowned male IAAF World Athlete of the Year for 2014 after breaking Sergey Bubka's 21-year-old world record with a clearance of 6.16 metres in the Ukrainian's home city of Donetsk.

Ukrainian high jumper Bogdan Bondarenko is another star athlete set to compete on the streets of Baku
Ukrainian high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko is another star athlete set to compete on the streets of Baku ©Getty Images

The men’s and women’s pole vault will take place on June 24, between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, while the men’s high jump will be staged the following day at the same time.

The Azerbaijan Athletics Federation will deliver the event on behalf of the Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee.

“Street athletics has attracted some world class athletes, and will be a part of the supporting spectacle of the Baku 2015 European Games,” said Baku 2015 athletics competition manager, Maharram Sultanzade.

Baku 2015 revealed details of the street athletics programme at a meeting of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Executive Board in January, held at the new Association of National Olympic Committees headquarters.

The disclosure spelled the end of efforts to include street running races, using a temporary track, on the Baku schedule, which runs from June 12 to 28.

Such events normally take place on purpose built, temporary outdoor arenas featuring a specially constructed IAAF certified four-lane sprint track and are held in city centres.

The concept has been pioneered in England, where events in Manchester and Newcastle have proven popular, attracting the likes of reigning Olympic champions Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Sally Pearson to compete. 

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