Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Duplantis breaks pole vault world record

Published:Friday | September 18, 2020 | 12:13 AM
Sweden’s Armand Duplantis celebrates after jumping 6.15m, the outdoor world record, during the men’s pole vault competition at the Wanda Diamond League meet in Rome, Italy, yesterday.
Sweden’s Armand Duplantis celebrates after jumping 6.15m, the outdoor world record, during the men’s pole vault competition at the Wanda Diamond League meet in Rome, Italy, yesterday.

ROME, Italy (AP):

Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis broke Sergey Bubka’s 26-year-old outdoor world record yesterday.

Duplantis cleared 6.1m (20 feet, two inches) at the Wanda Diamond League meet in Rome with his second attempt, besting the Ukrainian’s mark of 6.14m (20 feet, 1 ½ inches), set in Sestriere in July 1994.

Nicknamed ‘Mondo’, Duplantis already holds the indoor world record of 6.18m (20 feet, 3¼ inches), set in Glasgow in February — but Bubka’s classic outdoor mark was viewed by many as the ultimate test.

“World record — finally! It is so cool,” Duplantis said. “I wanted to get over these 6.15 so badly. Everybody kept talking about it; it was a big chip on my shoulder ... . When I did it, it was more relief than joy.”

The 20-year-old Duplantis, who was born and raised in the United States, came very close on his first attempt before clearing the bar on his second.

“It is crazy,” Duplantis said. “It has been a long time coming. Coming into the season, we did not know if we were able to do any competition at all. This world record is really unexpected, and I am very grateful.”

Duplantis was a child prodigy who broke age-group records on his way to joining the pole vaulting elite. He chose to compete internationally for Sweden, his mother’s home country. He won the silver medal at last year’s world championships.

World champion Karsten Warholm again narrowly missed out on Kevin Young’s 28-year-old world record in the men’s 400 hurdles, but the Norwegian keeps getting close.

Warholm ran a meet-record 47.07 seconds, less than three-tenths of a second off Young’s record of 46.78s from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

“It’s my third-best time ever, and you know running low 47s on the regular is awesome,” Warholm said. “So I’m really happy, and this season has been a good experience for me.”

Warholm ran 46.92s in Zurich last year and bettered that in Stockholm last month with a time of 46.87s.

The toppling of the long-standing record appears almost inevitable.

“I’m quite used to the talk now, and I just got to love it because it shows that I’m in a really good place,” the 24-year-old said. “Just being able to talk about the world record and being that close is an amazing feeling.”

Warholm was more than 1.5 seconds faster than Ludvy Vaillant of France, with Estonia’s Rasmus Mägi third.