American-born Swede Armand Duplantis soared to another pole vault world record on Saturday as he easily cleared 6.18 metres at the World Athletics Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix.
- Soviet Union great Sergei Bubka broke the pole vault world record 17 times in 10 years in the 1980s and 1990s
- It then took 20 years for France’s Renaud Lavillenie to beat Bubka with a clearance at 6.16 metres
- Now Sweden’s Armand Duplantis — the son of a American pole vaulter — has raised the world record twice in a week
The 20-year-old, a world silver medallist, had set the previous mark last Saturday by clearing 6.17 metres in Torun, Poland.
That eclipsed by 1 centimetre Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie’s record set in February 2014.
With the Glasgow crowd roaring him on, Duplantis cleared the bar in almost languid fashion before climbing off the mat, crossing his arms across his chest and milking the applause.
Incredibly, it was his first attempt at the height in the meet and he nailed it with room to spare. World champion Sam Kendricks was a distant second with a 5.75-metre clearance.
Armand Duplantis’s winning height in Glasgow was 43cm higher than his nearest competition. (Reuters/Action Images: Lee Smith)
Duplantis, the son of an American pole vaulter and who grew up with a pole vault pit in his garden at home in Louisiana, was vaulting higher than a London double-decker bus as a teenager.
At 17 he had already cleared 5.9 metres.
Men’s pole vault WR progression
- 6.08m — Sergei Bubka (Soviet Union), June 9, 1991
- 6.09m — Sergei Bubka, July 8, 1991
- 6.10m — Sergei Bubka, August 5, 1991
- 6.11m — Sergei Bubka, June 12, 1992
- 6.12m — Sergei Bubka, August 30, 1992
- 6.13m — Sergei Bubka, September 19, 1992
- 6.14m — Sergei Bubka, July 31, 1994
- 6.16m — Renaud Lavillenie (France), February 15, 2014
- 6.17m — Armand Duplantis (Sweden), February 8, 2020
- 6.18m — Armand Duplantis, February 15, 2020
Now the sky seems to be the limit for the exciting talent, who is targeting Olympic gold in Tokyo.
“There are a lot of reasons why this event is so complicated and so many things go into making a good jump,” Duplantis, who goes by the his schoolboy nickname Mondo, told the BBC.
“So many years of hard work go into this, but when you do it right it seems simple.
“Safe to say I feel good, I feel fast and strong on the runway.
“I’m excited for the outdoor season, and the Olympics is where I want to be the best.”
Duplantis received a $30,000 bonus from World Athletics for his world record.
Sergei Bubka’s 6.14-metre mark in 1994 remains the highest outdoor clearance, but the IAAF has not distinguished between indoor and outdoor records in pole vault since 2000.