'Insane': Athletics world stunned after young star breaks pole vault world record

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

He may be just 20-years-old but Armand Duplantis has stunned the athletics world after breaking the world record for pole vault on Saturday.

The Swedish star attempted the 6.17 metre record at an indoor meeting in Poland earlier in the week, but just knocked over the bar.

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But Duplantis, the US-born 20-year-old who won silver at last year's world championships in Doha, cleared the bar on his second attempt in Torun on Saturday to break the previous record of 6.16m set by French vaulter Renaud Lavillenie in February 2014.

"It's something that I wanted since I was three years old," Duplantis told the website of World Athletics.

Armand Duplantis competes in the Men's Pole Vault final during day five of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 01, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

"It's a big year, but it's a good way to start it."

Former pole vaulting champs and fans were stunned at the young star’s potential.

Lavillenie, the 2012 Olympic champion, said he was not surprised his record had been eclipsed.

"It's not a surprise. For two years now I knew he had the potential," the 33-year-old Frenchman told RMC Sports after competing at a meeting in Rouen. "Records are made to be beaten. He has got time on his side to definitely do even better and that's a great thing."

Duplantis had almost broken the record at a meeting in Duesseldorf on Tuesday.

Favourite for Tokyo Gold

His performance marks him out as a clear favourite for the Olympic title in Tokyo this year.

Long considered the man most likely to push the event forward, Duplantis began breaking age group records aged seven.

Armand Duplantis sets new indoor pole vault world record of 6.17m during Copernicus Cup on February 8, 2020 in Torun, Poland. (Photo by Rafal Oleksiewicz/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

He announced his prodigious talent to a wider audience when he won the European outdoor title in Berlin in 2018 with a vault of 6.05m, a world junior record.

Coached by his American father Greg - himself a former pole vaulter who cleared 5.80m - Duplantis was a product of a track and field-crazy family which had their own vaulting apparatus in the garden.

He competed for Louisiania State University in the United States last year.

With AFP