Duplantis ‘up in the clouds’ with world-record vault

Duplantis ‘up in the clouds’ with world-record vault

ROME • Swedish pole vault star Armand Duplantis continued his remarkable, unbeaten season after eclipsing Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka’s 26-year mark, setting a new outdoor world record of 6.15m at the Diamond League meet in Rome on Thursday.

Duplantis, who already holds the world indoor record of 6.18m, bettered the mark of 6.14m achieved by Bubka in July 1994 in Italy.

The 20-year-old succeeded on his second attempt in a competition he dominated in perfect warm and windless conditions, but without spectators to celebrate in an empty Olympic Stadium.

“I think I’m still up in the clouds right now,” said the US-born athlete, who has won all 15 meets he has competed in this season. “It’s a surreal, super crazy feeling.”

He set the world record indoors in Glasgow in February, and had made the outdoor mark his goal, with the Olympic Games and European Championships postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s a lot of confusion because the pole vault is the only event which has one world record for both indoors and outdoors,” said Duplantis.

“I wanted the outdoor world best at 6.15 so there would no longer be any confusion.

“I now have the best jumps indoors and outdoors.”

He had cleared an earlier attempt but hit the bar on the way down.

“It was a kind of mental thing,” he said. “After that first attempt, I knew what I had to do, so just went out and did it.”

The son of an American pole vaulter who grew up with a pole vault pit in his garden at home in Louisiana, he was vaulting higher than a London double-decker bus as a teenager and at 17, he had already cleared 5.90m.​

    6.15m World outdoor record set by Armand Duplantis to eclipse the 6.14m achieved by Sergey Bubka in July 1994 in Italy.

    6.18m World indoor record set by Duplantis in Glasgow in February.

There were also impressive performances on the track with two world lead times.

Elaine Thompson-Herah ran the fastest time this year as the Jamaican demolished the field to win the women’s 100 metres in 10.85 seconds. American Aleia Hobbs was a distant second and Ivorian Marie-Jose Ta Lou third.

Jacob Kiplimo also produced a world leading time to win the men’s 3,000m ahead of Jakob Ingebrigtsen in 7min 26.64sec. It was also a Ugandan and Diamond League record.

But Norwegian Karsten Warholm missed out on the 400m hurdles world record, despite winning in a blistering 47.07sec.

Two-time world champion Warholm, the second-fastest 400m hurdler in history, had been hoping to topple Kevin Young’s long-standing mark of 46.78sec which the American set at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.