Duplantis vaults into history and gives athletics a new star

The ease with which Armand Duplantis sailed over the bar set at 6.15 metres in the warm Rome air on Thursday suggests there will be more records to come.
 

AFP/Andreas Solaro

ROME - Armand Duplantis has pole-vaulted into history aged just 20, eclipsing the outdoor world record of Sergey Bubka that has stood since 1994 to give track and field a fresh-faced new star.

The ease with which Duplantis sailed over the bar set at 6.15 metres in the warm Rome air on Thursday suggests there will be more records to come.

The American-born Swede known as "Mondo" was already the overall world record holder, breaking the mark in indoor meetings on consecutive weekends in February, the second, in Glasgow, raised it to 6.18m.

But the favourable conditions indoors, without wind, mean that for purists the outdoor record is the mark that really counts.

"I think I'm still up in the clouds right now," he said after his history-making jump in Rome. "It's surreal, it's surreal, it's a super-crazy feeling when everything lines up like that and you do a really good performance."

Ukrainian Bubka broke the world record on 17 occasions in the 1980s and 1990s, famously edging the mark up by one centimetre on no fewer than nine occasions between 1988 and 1994 so he could collect a bonus each time.

Duplantis said he had wanted to erase any doubt that he was the best vaulter in history both indoors and out.

"There was kind of this confusion between the indoor and outdoor record, it's kind of merged. I already had the world record but I wanted to clear everything up and be the best outdoors."

Coached by his American father Greg, a former pole vaulter, Duplantis is a product of a track and field-crazy family which had their own vaulting apparatus in the garden.

Source
AFP