Mondo Duplantis Sets Outdoor World Record in Pole Vault
LAFAYETTE, La (runnersworld.com) – Seven months after breaking the world record in the pole vault indoors, Mondo Duplantis achieved the best clearance in history at an outdoor competition on Thursday.
On his final attempt at the Diamond League meet in Rome, the former LSU standout cleared 6.15 meters (20.18 feet), beating the previous outdoor best achieved by Sergey Bubka of Ukraine, who jumped 6.14 meters in 1994.
After breaking the world record with a clearance of 6.18 meters at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow in February, Duplantis now holds the record for the highest jump anyone has ever vaulted outdoors.
“There’s a lot of confusion because the pole vault is the only event which has one world record for both indoors and outdoors,” Duplantis told World Athletics. “I wanted the outdoor world best at 6.15 so there would no longer be any confusion. Now I have the best jumps indoors and outdoors!”
In the process, the 20-year-old beat runner-up Ben Broeders, who vaulted 5.80 meters, a Belgian national record. Duplantis also improved on his 6.07-meter world-leading mark, which was set in Lausanne two weeks ago.
Duplantis was raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, and competes internationally for Sweden. While representing the LSU Tigers, he broke the NCAA indoor and outdoor records and won the NCAA indoor championship in 2019. He turned professional after finishing runner-up at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. A few months later, Duplantis earned silver at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
After the coronavirus outbreak forced the majority of competitions to be canceled or postponed, including the Tokyo Olympics, Duplantis has proven to be a mainstay in a series of COVID-adjusted meets.
He opened his 2020 outdoor season at the Impossible Games, a reimagined version of the Diamond League meet in Oslo where virtual and in-person competition took place so competitors could follow social distancing restrictions. In an empty stadium, Duplantis vaulted live against a recording of Olympic gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie’s attempts from his garden in France. Duplantis emerged victorious with a clearance of 5.86 meters.
He continued to improve his marks at the Diamond League meets in Monaco, Stockholm, Lausanne, and Brussels and now holds a 15-meet winning streak this year.
“Coming into the season, we did not know if we were able to do any competition at all,” Duplantis told meet organizers. “This world record is really unexpected and I am very grateful.”
In addition to Duplantis achieving the outdoor world best, a number of athletes also had standout performances in Rome.
A homestretch battle between Jacob Kiplimo and Jakob Ingebrigtsen was the highlight of the men’s 3,000 meters. Both 19 years-old, Kiplimo out-kicked Ingebrigtsen in the last 20 meters, reaching the finish line in 7:26.64, a Ugandan national record, Diamond League record, and the fastest time since 2007.
“I am over the moon,” Kiplimo told meet organizers. “I did not expect such a great time. I thought that I could run around 7:30. The pacemaker was fantastic.”
Ingebrigtsen finished second in 7:27.05, a Norwegian national record and Stewart McSweyn of Australia finished third in 7:28.02, an Oceania record. Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy also broke the national record for his country by finishing fourth in 7:38.27.
On the women’s side, Elaine Thompson set a world lead in the 100 meters in her first 2020 competition outside of her native Jamaica. The two-time Olympic champion ran 10.85, dominating the field in the fastest time run in the world this year.
“This tells me where I am at the end of this season and tells me how I can prepare for next year,” Thompson said. “I am super excited. This year required more adjusting, and my goal was to push back and to motivate myself.”