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Athletics: Duplantis jumps pole vault world record

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Athletics: Duplantis jumps pole vault world record

Four steps to the next world record: The dominance of pole vaulter Armand Duplantis is becoming more and more astonishing. With astonishing ease, the Swedish athlete rose to previously unattainable heights this Saturday at the Diamond League meeting in Xiamen: the 24-year-old cleared 6.24 meters – and put a five-centimeter air cushion between himself and the crossbar. “It’s an overwhelming feeling that I never get tired of,” is how he described his inner life after setting another world record.

Duplantis left 42 centimeters of distance between himself and his competitors at the first world-class sports festival of the season. The American Sam Kendricks, world champion in 2017 and 2019, came in second with a very good 5.82 meters. The 31-year-old is one of the few six-meter jumpers in the world, but this time he tried in vain to achieve the dream mark of every pole vaulter. The German champion Bo Kanda Lita Baehre didn’t even make it above his entry-level height of 5.42 meters, but he also had to do without his own poles, which had not arrived in China.

Duplantis once again showed no fear of big jumps and presented a performance that was as short as it was flawless: 5.62 meters to get started, 5.82 to make sure, then 6.00 meters to win the day and finally 6.24 meters as a new world record – each time straight away and without wobbling. “I don’t set any limits for myself,” he had previously announced, “so I always think I’m capable of a record.”

His eighth world record: still an incredible feeling for DuplantisReuters

With the self-confidence of an Olympic champion, double world champion and two-time European champion, who succeeded in pretty much everything he tried in his discipline at a young age, he even announced his new record: “If everything goes the way I can, “I can do the world record.” It was the eighth since 2020 – each time increased by centimeters – in the career of Duplantis, for whom the term “high flyer”, which is often overused in sports, applies like no other. “I was in good shape,” he said afterwards with a casual smile and confessed: “I haven’t even jumped my hardest pole.” Which suggests that things will go even higher.

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The Swede arrived in Xiamen earlier this week and trained at the spectacular Egret Stadium, the venue for the meeting. “The stadium has something very special,” he said, praising the spirit of the place. It was his first time in China and he found the experience very exciting. But he didn’t come for sightseeing. “I slept a lot and tried to recover as much as possible, rest and get over the jet lag.” He obviously succeeded.

Last year had already been outstanding for him: with only one defeat in the entire season. He ended the old outdoor season the same way he started the new one: with a world record – 6.23 meters on September 17th in Eugene. In between he was active in the hall and became world champion there too. “Everything went according to plan, as it should be,” he concluded. “It was a short indoor season, short and sweet.”

White on black: 6.24 metersReuters

The young man, whom many call “Mondo,” has now accepted that his winning streak means he is increasingly becoming the focus of public attention: “You get used to it,” he said in Xiamen. As a child he was a bit shy and even as a teenager public speaking was not his favorite activity. But that’s just part of it: “You kind of have to get used to it the better you get at your sport.”

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