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Sunday May 19, 2024

Unstoppable Duplantis breaks pole vault record again in Xiamen Diamond League

By Reuters
April 21, 2024
Swedish-American track and field athlete Armand Duplantis. — AFP/File
Swedish-American track and field athlete Armand Duplantis. — AFP/File

XIAMEN, China: Armand Duplantis put down a marker ahead of this year’s Paris Olympics as the Swede broke his own pole vault world record with a 6.24 metres effort in the first Diamond League meeting of the 2024 season on Saturday.

Duplantis bettered his previous mark of 6.23 metres set at the Eugene Diamond League finale in September, clearing the bar with ease before leaping up off the sponge mat below and racing off in celebration at his first outdoor event of the year.

It was the eighth time that Duplantis broke the world record and the 24-year-old, who was the only man to clear six metres at the Egret Stadium, said he could do even better.

“It’s definitely possible, conditions willing. I’m going to try to maximise the most out of every day,” Duplantis said.

“There’s definitely more to give. I don’t think the jumping was really perfect today even leading up to the 6.24. The 6.24 felt really nice.

“I think there’s still some way to go and still more to push and some higher heights in me for sure.”

The Olympic and two-time world outdoor champion had added a second world indoor title to his impressive resume in March, and he is set to head into his second Games in July and August as the firm favourite.

“I’m ever joyous to be second behind a world record-holder. I know he works so hard. He goes all over the place and he’s becoming the true champion we all want him to be.”

In the women’s 200m Australian Torrie Lewis enjoyed a stunning Diamond League debut, as the 19-year-old beat a strong field of American rivals that included Sha’Carri Richardson to claim gold with an effort of 22.96 from lane nine.