Pole vaulter makes 'insane' history in never-before-seen moment

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Armand Duplantis, pictured here breaking the outdoor pole vault world record.
Armand Duplantis broke the outdoor pole vault world record. Image: Getty

Not content with the indoor pole vault world record, 20-year-old Swede Armand Duplantis has now broken the outdoor mark.

Duplantis eclipsed Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka’s 26-year mark on Thursday, setting a new outdoor pole vault world record of 6.15m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.

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

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 Stadio Olimpico.

“I think I'm still up in the clouds right now,” said the US-born athlete. “It's a surreal, super crazy feeling.”

Duplantis set the indoor world record in February, and had made the outdoor mark his goal with the Olympic Games and European championships postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was something I really wanted to do, there was a lot of confusion between the indoor and outdoor,” said Duplantis.

“I thought 'why not just do it?' be the best outdoor, to clear up the confusion.”

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

“It was a kind of mental thing,” he admitted.

“After that first attempt I knew what I had to do it so just went out and did it.”

Armand Duplantis, pictured here with his new outdoor pole vault world record.
Armand Duplantis poses next to his new outdoor pole vault world record. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Fans and commentators erupted over Duplantis’ remarkable feat.

“Think of how much we debated who would inherit the sport after Usain Bolt,” one TV commentator said on NBC in America.

“None of us thought it would be a pole vaulter, but that’s the way it looks right now.”

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Stewart McSweyn breaks Australian 3000m record

Meanwhile, Stewart McSweyn smashed the Australian 3000m record, clocking seven minutes 28.02 seconds to slash more than four seconds off the old mark set by Craig Mottram in 2006.

The 25-year-old Tasmanian moved to 17th spot on the all-time list after finishing third in a race of the highest quality.

Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo claimed the victory in 7:26.64 - the fastest time in the world this year - and Norwegian Jakob Ingebritsen (7:27.05) was second.

Ingebritsen and McSweyn are the only two non-Africans in the all-time top-20 in the 3000m.

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The national 3000m mark has previously been held by some of the most revered names in Australian distance running including John Landy, Ron Clarke and Mottram.

Both Mottram and McSweyn were coached by Nic Bideau.

McSweyn is set to to be Australia’s stand-out male track athlete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, if the rescheduled Games go ahead.

Elsehwhere, 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.

with agencies

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