Duplantis sets new world pole vault record

CLERMONT-FERRAND (France): Armand Duplantis of Sweden set a new world pole vault record of 6.22 metres at an indoor meeting in France on Saturday, describing it as “almost an out-of-body experience”.

Olympic champion Duplantis improved his own record of 6.21m that he set in winning the world title outdoors in Oregon last year.

Competing at the All-Star Perche meeting in Clermont-Ferrand, central France organised by 2012 Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie, Duplantis cleared the new record at his third attempt to the delight of the 4,000-strong crowd.

Duplantis, 23, said: “When you have moments like this, when the energy is so high, and you’re going down there for the record, it feels like levitating, it feels like my body never even touched the ground the whole jump.

“There’s something about it that just feels overwhelming right now, and I really think it’s because Renaud means so much to me, he’s meant so much to me since I first started, he’s been my biggest inspiration, biggest idol.

“He really motivated me, made me believe that I could break the world record. So for me to break the world record here, his hometown, his competition that he hosts…”

US-born Duplantis entered the competition at 5.71m, clearing that height at his first attempt.

He passed at 5.81m and managed 5.91m on his second try before winning the competition by clearing 6.01m on his first attempt before having the bar raised to the record height.

It was the sixth time that Duplantis has broken the world record.

He set the first in Torun in February 2020, when he cleared 6.17m to add a centimetre to Lavillenie’s previous world record of 6.16m that had stood since 2014.

“Each world record feels like it brings something a bit different out of me,“ Duplantis said. “Maybe the first one might have been a bit crazier, but this might be number two right now, it’s really unbelievable.”

He said re-writing the record books no longer left him with any nerves.

“The pressure doesn’t really feel the same anymore to me. I’ve proved a lot the past few years, the past two years especially, and I know what kind of jumper I am, what I am capable of.

“I know that I am deserving to be in the spot that I am.”

Duplantis is giving the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul next month a miss so will focus on the outdoor season and winning back-to-back world outdoor titles in Budapest in August. – AFP