Armand Duplantis has left the athletics world speechless after breaking his own pole vault world record for the sixth time. The Swedish sensation raised his own mark to 6.22m with an amazing clearance at the World Athletics indoor meet in Clermont-Ferrand, France on Saturday.
Duplantis set the previous world record of 6.21m on his way to winning gold at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July last year. Saturday's effort marked the sixth time he has broken the world record in his career and the 60th time he has gone six metres or higher.
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The 23-year-old had already won the competition when he cleared 6.01m on his first try. He then took a crack at the world record and knocked off the bar on his first two attempts.
However he managed to clear the mark with room to spare on the third attempt, letting out a roar of delight as the crowd were sent into a frenzy. Meet director Renaud Lavillenie, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, ran onto the mat to embrace Duplantis as a shower of sparklers came tumbling down.
"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," he said afterwards. "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..."
Lavillenie held the world record for six years with his mark of 6.16m set in 2014. However Duplantis broke it for the first time in February 2020 when he cleared 6.17m in Poland. He has raised the mark a further five times in the last two years.
"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 No.2 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 will skip the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul next month to focus on the outdoor season. His next goal is to win back-to-back world outdoor titles in Budapest in August.
Love this so much
— Holly Bradshaw (@HollyBradshawPV) February 25, 2023
— Darrell Crain ✌🏻💚🏃🏼♂️ (@CatawbaKing) February 25, 2023
The craziest part is the replay shows there’s another 8-10 cm’s of room there.
— Tim Snell (@tj_snell) February 25, 2023
The clearance was insane! 🤯
— Drake Schneider (@drakester35) February 25, 2023
Mondo Duplantis is going to bankrupt PUMA by hitting his world record bonus over and over and over and over again… pic.twitter.com/6V4BnuSHCC
— CITIUS MAG (@CitiusMag) February 25, 2023
He is super man.
— Karonmax (@klm_ladi) February 25, 2023
Oh my god 😳
— Nurmi1924 (@1924Nurmi) February 25, 2023
Kurtis Marschall finishes second with PB
Meanwhile, Australia's Kurtis Marschall smashed his own personal best in the same event. Marschall finished second with a 5.91m leap, while Menno Vloon of the Netherland took third on a countback. A two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Marschall added 9cm to his previous PB of 5.82m - set two years ago in Zagreb.
Elsehwhere on Saturday, Australia's Catrona Bisset finished second in the women's 800m at the World Athletics gold indoor meet in Birmingham. Bisset finished in 1:59.83 as world silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson set a British record of 1:57.18.
And Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia stormed to the second-fastest women's indoor 3000m of all time, clocking 8:16.69.
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