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AFP
September 19, 2020

Duplantis vaults into history

Sports

AFP
September 19, 2020

ROME: Armand Duplantis has pole-vaulted into history aged just 20, eclipsing the outdoor world record of Sergey Bubka that has stood since 1994 to give track and field a fresh-faced new star.

The ease with which Duplantis sailed over the bar set at 6.15 metres in the warm Rome air on Thursday suggests there will be more records to come.

The American-born Swede known as “Mondo” was already the overall world record holder, breaking the mark in indoor meetings on consecutive weekends in February, the second, in Glasgow, raised it to 6.18m.

But the favourable conditions indoors, without wind, mean that for purists the outdoor record is the mark that really counts.

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted his early season but at meetings in Monaco, Stockholm, Lausanne and Brussels, Duplantis cleared six metres, showing a new record was within reach.

“I think I’m still up in the clouds right now,” he said after his history-making jump in Rome. “It’s surreal, it’s surreal, it’s a super-crazy feeling when everything lines up like that and you do a really good performance.”

Ukrainian Bubka broke the world record on 17 occasions in the 1980s and 1990s, famously edging the mark up by one centimetre on no fewer than nine occasions between 1988 and 1994 so he could collect a bonus each time.