He keeps pushing his own limits. Armand Duplantis set a new pole vault world record, bringing his own mark to 6.21 m, Sunday July 24 at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene. The performance earned the reigning Olympic champion Swede his first gold medal at the outdoor world championships.
Christopher Nilsen and Ernest John Obiena, respectively second and third (5.94 m), could not compete with the behemoth of the discipline. Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie placed fifth with a jump of 5.87 meters.
It is always difficult to measure a priori the trace that an athlete will leave in the history of his discipline. The exercise is even more risky when it comes to a young person still at the dawn of his career. “Mondo” Duplantis is an exception here. The Swede is only 22 years old, but his successive prowess is such that it is not overused to classify him, already, among the legends.
You should have seen the disconcerting ease with which he passed the bar set at 6.21 meters – his previous record was 6.20 m. This has not moved one iota against the dexterity and calm of Duplantis. The few centimeters of margin he has had, moreover, give a first glimpse of a potential better brand to come.
Each new record broken by the Swede widens the chasm separating him from his rivals. On Sunday, he passed the bar twenty-seven centimeters higher than Nilsen and Obiena. Never, in the history of the Worlds, had we seen such a gap between the first two in the discipline. “We don’t even ask ourselves the question of whether he’s going to get there… We’re watching!”greeted, handsome player, Renaud Lavillenie after the competition.
The Charentais finished in fifth position, tied with the German Oleg Zernikel. At 35, he was not far from seeking a sixth medal in the world championships. But even setting his record for the season, Lavillenie failed to pass the 5.94 meter mark.