20-year-youngster Armand Mondo Duplantis soared to a new height in the world of athletics, when the Swedish-American broke Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie’s World Record of 6.16m on the 8th of February 2020 in Poland clearing 6.17m. Lavillenie had previously set the World Record on the 15th of February 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine.
At the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Torun in Poland, Armand Duplantis was at his best to clear 6.17m in his second attempt to establish the new Indoor Pole Vault World Record. Having broken the World Record, a dream he has lived ever since his childhood, the insatiable hunger to be better than the rest of the world, Armand Duplantis broke his own World Record of 6.17m at the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow to clear 6.18m on the 15th of February 2020.
In one of his interviews, Armand Duplantis revealed, “So many years of hard work go into this, but when you do it right it seems simple. Safe to say I feel good, I feel fast and strong on the runway. I am excited for the outdoor season! The Olympics is where I want to be the best! There are a lot of reasons why this event is so complicated and so many things go into making a good jump.”
Armand Duplantis has shown magnificent mettle to take on the best of the athletes from all across the globe. Focused and with a strong mental strength, Duplantis is a fascinating pole vaulter, who has his young age at an advantage over others in the field. In all perspective, Duplantis will rule the Pole Vault discipline like the greatest pole vaulter-ever born Sergey Bubka.
In the year of the Olympics, Duplantis breaking World Record is a good sign for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It would be really interesting to watch Armand Duplantis at the Olympics going for Sergey Bubka’s Outdoor World Record of 6.14m, which the former Russian, now Ukranian, athlete has held ever since 31st July 1994. For more than a quarter of Century, not even a single pole vaulter could emulate his amazing feat.
BUBKA – The Greatest!
Sergey Bubka is the greatest athlete ever born in the modern age to dominate the pole vault discipline with his sheer brilliance to achieve the unexpected. Each time he approaches the bar, Bubka surprises himself to keep breaking World Records one after another. In the year 1981 as a junior, Sergey Bubka competed for the first time on the international stage at the European Junior Championship. Two years later, Bubka surprised the world winning the Gold medal at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki clearing 5.70m.
Sergey Bubka’s dominance in the discipline was simply unmatched ever since his first win at the 1983 World Championships. Bubka did not allow any other athlete in the world to win the World Championship title in Pole Vault for the next five consecutive World Championships till 1997. He won the Olympic Gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He is the only athlete in the world, who has broken the World Records an amazing 35 times in his career.
Sergey Bubka’s World Records is really hard to even match, forget about surpassing it. He was the first athlete to clear the 6.0m and 6.10m heights. He held the Indoor World Record of 6.15m for 21 long years. It was Renaud Lavillenie, who broke Bubka’s Indoor World Record to clear 6.16m on the 15th of February 2014 at the same arena of Donetsk, Ukraine.
Sergey Bubka has held the Outdoor World Record of 6.14m since the 31st of July 1994. In the last 26 years, not even a single athlete could even come near Bubka’s 6.14m-mark. In the year 2009, Renaud Lavilline cleared 6.05m. In the year 2017, Sam Kendricks cleared 6.06m. Armand Duplantis cleared 6.05m in the year 2018. The Olympics’ pressure on the young Swedish-American is immense and who better than Bubka to know it.
Bubka is undoubtedly the greatest pole vaulter in the history of world athletics. Sergey Bubka represented USSR – the Soviet Union from 1981 to 1991 and Ukraine from 1992 till his retirement in the year 2001.
DUPLANTIS – Great Future Ahead!
Armand Duplantis has a great future ahead. It would be too early to say that he would be likely to surpass Sergey Bubka’s greatness and unparalleled feat in coming year. However, he has shown immense talent to become the next big thing in pole vault. Duplantis earned a $30,000 bonus, when he broke his own World Record clearing 6.18m at the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on the 15th of February 2020.
It is interesting to note that Armand Duplantis chose to represent his heptathlete and volleyball player mother Helena Hedlund’s motherland Sweden at the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow. He earned a $30,000 bonus for his second World Record in his first attempt to clear 6.18m. Armand is genetically rich with his American pole vaulter father Greg Duplantis and heptathlete mother.
Armand Mondo Duplantis was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A on the 10th of November 1999. Armand is the youngest of the three brothers. The whole family has athletics and sports ingrained in their genes. Unlike his elder brothers Andreas and Antoine, who switched to baseball from pole vault, Armand was destined to make his parents proud in the world.
Little Armand was attracted to pole vault at a tender age of three, as his parents vouch. At the age of 10, Little Armand cleared 3.86m to surpass the previous World Bests in the 11 and 12 years age groups. Little Armand was growing fast to establish World Bests in various age groups. In his freshman year at Lafayette High School, young Armand set National Freshman Records in Indoors and Outdoors in the year 2015. Armand Duplantis was named Gatorade Louisiana Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
At the 2015 World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, Armand Duplantis represented his mother’s nation Sweden to win the Gold medal clearing 5.30m in his first attempt. He improved his Personal Best by 2cm and simultaneously set a new Championship Record. He holds dual citizenship of his parents’ nations. However, he prefers to represent Sweden rather than America.
Armand Duplantis improved with each passing year with great confidence. During a High School meet, Armand cleared 5.49m on the 6th of February 2016 in Baton Rouge to become the first High School athlete to clear the 18-feet height indoors. Simultaneously, he established World Indoor Youth Best and National High School Indoor Record to set a new age 16 World Best.
At the Millrose Games on the 11th of February 2017, Armand Duplantis established the World Indoor Junior Record clearing 5.75m. A week later, he bettered the mark clearing 5.82m at the New Balance National Scholastic Championships. At the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, Armand bettered his Personal Best mark clearing 5.90m on the 1st of April 2017. Simultaneously, he established a new World Junior Record and Swedish Senior Record.
At the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, Armand improved his World Indoor Junior Record clearing 5.83m at the beginning of his 2018 season. He improved this mark adding another 0.05m. At the 2018 European Athletics Championships, Armand cleared 6.05m. At the young age of 19, Armand Duplantis etched his name with his 6.05m, tied at No. 5 Pole Vaulter Indoors, in the history books. He also tied for the No. 2 ranking in the Outdoors.
At the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Armand Duplantis was pushed by Sam Kendricks to the second spot for the Silver medal. Both of them cleared the 5.97m-mark. However, with his new found vigour, Armand Duplantis has established self as the new king of Pole Vault.
POLE VAULT – Tough & Highly Technical
Pole Vault is an ancient sport recorded in the history books during the Greeks, Cretans and Celts’ period. The discipline is one of the toughest and highly technical in the world of athletics. Pole Vault has ruled the Olympics Games ever since 1896. The discipline was introduced for women in Olympics only from the year 2000. The discipline attracts huge crowd and enthusiasm during multiple athletics meet.
The discipline requires a very tough training sessions involving running speed, agility, strength and flawless technique. It is a highly technical discipline. An athlete has to possess high technical skill to unite all the above elements to master the discipline. Over the years, vaulting has made tremendous progress with introduction of flexible vaulting poles made of composites like fibreglass or carbon fibre.
Germany’s Tim Lobinger was the first athlete to clear the 6m height. He cleared the 6m-mark on the 27th of August 1997 in Cologne. The year 2020 of the Olympics is a good year for the discipline. Rightly put by the World Record holder Armand Duplantis, “It’s a big year, but it’s a good way to start it. It’s something that I wanted since I was three years old.”