EUGENE, Oregon (July 24) — Mondo Duplantis added a centimeter to his own world pole vault record to claim his first outdoor world title, soaring over 6.21m* as the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 came to a close on an incredible high on Sunday (24).
“It is great, I cannot complain. Actually, I did not think about the record that much today,” said Duplantis. “Usually, it is always somewhere in the back of my mind but today, I was really focused on the win and I really wanted to win the gold so badly.”
The 22-year-old had improved his own world record mark to 6.20m when winning world indoor gold in Belgrade in March and he carried that remarkable form through to the outdoor championships at Hayward Field. Read more: Tobi Amusan sets stunning 12.12 secs 100m hurdles world record
“It was the medal I was missing. So when I was at this height, it was like everything came together and it happened from there,” he added. “I love jumping in Eugene and it was amazing here. I cannot figure the next heights right now.
“I am going to have a bit of time off with my family and my friends. So it is the only thing for now. It is my mum and dad who deserve the biggest thanks for all this.
“My girlfriend has come all the way from Sweden just to watch it and I also have my best friend coming here so I have got a lot of people to thank to.”
It is the fifth time that Duplantis has improved the world record, the Swedish star first breaking it with his 6.17m clearance in Torun in February 2020.
But it is the first time he has broken it outdoors – the last time an outdoor performance led to a world record was when pole vault great Sergey Bubka soared over 6.14m in July 1994, more than five years before Duplantis was even born.
Duplantis has now also overtaken Bubka when it comes to career six-meter-plus clearances, having managed that feat 48 times to Bubka’s 46.
In Oregon, Duplantis had earlier cleared a championship record of 6.06m on his first attempt and had the competition won at 6.00m.
USA’s Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen secured a world medal of the same color after clearing 5.94m. That height was also managed by Philippines’ Ernest John Obiena, who added a centimeter to his own Asian record to win bronze – the first ever World Championships medal for his nation.
“This was something I really wanted but I do not know if I was expecting it,” said Obiena. “I definitely did not expect that I would jump that high. And I would not think that it would actually take that high to win a medal. I think this is the highest world championships final ever.”
American Nilsen added: “Mondo is going to keep breaking records and I am just going to keep doing my thing. This medal means to me that I am very consistent in what I am doing – to be in the top three in the world. I believe I will be able to contain that position for another year.”
Meanwhile, Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie noted: “Mondo Duplantis is amazing. Honestly, he’s able to do what nobody has ever done before. He is still young, he can get even better. Obviously, it’s also a person I like a lot, so that’s even nicer to see his performances.”
It was the second world record on the final day, following the stunning 12.12 (0.9m/s) seconds by Tobi Amusan of Nigeria in the semi-finals of the world 100m hurdles. Read more here
*Subject to the usual ratification procedure
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images