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  • Duplantis record-breaking jump in Roma, Italy, Sept. 17, 2020.

    Duplantis record-breaking jump in Roma, Italy, Sept. 17, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 September 2020
Opinion

He already broke the indoor world record twice this season, clearing 6.18 meters in Glasgow.

Swedish Armand Duplantis Thursday broke Sergey Bubka's 26-year-old outdoor pole vault world record at the Diamond League in Rome.

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At his second attempt in the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, the 20-year-old athlete cleared 6.15 meters and beat Bubka's mark of 6.14 meters, which was set also in Italy in July 1994.

"World record — finally! It is so cool," Duplantis said to media right after the jump. "I wanted to get over 6.15 so badly. Everybody kept talking about it, it was a big chip on my shoulder … When I did it, it was more relief than joy."

Duplantis’ record was expected by many, especially because he already broke the indoor world mark twice this season. On 8 February, he overpassed French Renaud Lavillenie's almost 6-year-old mark with a jump of 6.17 m in Torun, Poland. A week later, in Glasgow, he increased the record by another centimeter to 6.18 m.

Even when the World Athletics Federation has not distinguished between indoor and outdoor records in pole vault since 2000, many experts do, and Bubka's outdoor mark was considered as a classic due to its longevity.

"Coming into the season we did not know if we were able to do any competition at all. This world record is unexpected and I am very grateful."

Although Duplantis was born in the U.S., he decided to compete internationally for Sweden, his mother's home country. However, he grew up in Louisiana, and a fun fact is that while growing he had a pole vault pit in his garden.

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