DOHA (REUTERS) – Swedish pole vaulter Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis completed a perfect season when he beat world champion Sam Kendricks at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday (Sept 25), the last of a campaign shortened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 20-year-old won all 16 of his meetings in 2020 as well as twice breaking the world record and producing the best-ever outdoor jump of 6.15 metres.
A vault of 5.82 metres was enough for him to win again on Friday ahead of American Kendricks and France’s former Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie who both cleared the same height but with more failures.
Kenyan Faith Kipyegon ran the fastest time this season to win the women’s 800 metres, taking the lead from Spain’s Esther Guerrero around 200 metres from the end before cruising home for a comfortable win in 1:57.68 minutes.
“I am very surprised not only with the win but with my record here tonight,” said Kipyegon, the Olympic 1500 metres champion.
“The year has been a disturbing one for everyone and I am glad it is coming to an end. We can’t wait enough for 2021 to be here.”
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah continued her impressive form with an easy win in the women’s 100 metres.
The Jamaican charged home in 10.87 seconds, with Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou a distant 0.34 seconds behind in second after failing to get her usual fast start.
An experimental format in the women’s long jump helped Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk to a win.
In the new system, the leading three after five rounds go into a “final three”, the previous results are discarded and the athlete with the best final jump wins the contest.
Bekh-Romanchuk produced 6.91 metres for her last effort while Nigeria’s Ese Brume was second with 6.68. Sweden’s Khaddi Sagnia, who had the best jump in the first five rounds of 6.85, was third with 6.55.