Mondo Duplantis left the athletics world in awe at the Olympics on Tuesday night as he soared to victory in the men's pole vault final.
The 21-year-old from Sweden, who finished with a silver medal behind world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States in 2019, is the only man to fly over six metres this year.
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He won gold on his first attempt to clear 6.02 metres on Tuesday night.
The Swede only needed five jumps during the final to clear the bar at heights of 5.55, 5.80, 5.92, 5.97 and the gold-winning leap of 6.02.
"It's a surreal feeling, really, I still don't know how to explain it," Duplantis told reporters.
"It's something I've wanted for so long and now that it's finally here, and I finally did it, it's so crazy.
"Ever since I was a little kid I have loved this sport so much and I have always believed that it would take me to some great places, and the fact that I'm actually here, I'm at the Olympics and being able to win it is fantastic."
Duplantis shot to global stardom when he twice broke the world record of 6.16m with clearances of 6.17m and 6.18m in February last year on the World Indoor Tour.
That earned him the accolade of the male World Athlete of the Year in 2020.
On Tuesday night he was so dominant that his gold medal-winning leap cleared the bar by an extraordinary margin.
A photo of the insane leap sent fans into a frenzy on social media.
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 3, 2021
Historic #Olympics Night For Sweden at #Tokyo2020;
21-year-old Mondo Duplantis cleared 6.02m in the men's pole vault final to win gold at the #OlympicGames
He scarily made 2 close attempts at what would have been a new world record 6.19m.#Athletics pic.twitter.com/IC4iece0Xm
— #Tokyo2020 (@alimo_philip) August 3, 2021
Armand Duplantis is from another world. The 21-year-old wins the gold medal in #athletics pole vault and misses a new world record (6.19m) after being so, so close.
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) August 3, 2021
Wow. Mondo Duplantis of Sweden is insane. Nearly set a new WR in the pole vault closely missing on two of his three attempts at 6.19m. He will break WR at some point. #Olympics
— Kurt Darling (@WIBCKurtDarling) August 3, 2021
Duplantis is absolutely insane. He was so close to 6.19 two times. Almost Managing that after an Olympic gold is something else dude.
— Melon In Disguise (@melonindisguise) August 3, 2021
Loved what this guy did! 6.02 was not the benchmark for him, it was 6.19. And he came this close to breaking the barrier which by the way is his own World record! 👏 Unreal scenes, loved him. Well deserved by #Duplantis 🥇 loved watching him. https://t.co/Xk8NUF8fu7
— 🎧Silent Rockstar彡 (@Starry2712) August 3, 2021
Duplantis narrowly misses breaking world record again
Having sealed the gold medal on a warm and humid night in Tokyo, Duplantis decided to go for another world record attempt at 6.19m.
Cheered on by his fellow competitors from the final and those present in the stands, Duplantis went over on his first attempt.
However his chest caught the bar on the way down. He tried twice more but it was not to be.
"The world record would have been nice, and I felt like I was close, but it is what it is. I'm not going to sit here and complain," he said.
He became the first world record holder to win Olympic gold in the men's pole vault since Sergey Bubka in 1988 in Seoul.
American Chris Nilsen cleared the bar at 5.97 with his first attempt at the height to challenge for the gold, but couldn't match Duplantis's 6.02 effort and picked up the silver medal.
Brazil's Thiago Braz, who won the title at his home Olympics in Rio five years ago, took bronze with his effort of 5.87.
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