After breaking the world pole vault record twice during the indoor season, Armand Duplantis achieved the highest vault in history outdoors in the Rome Diamond League with a 6.15m clearance on Thursday (17) evening.
It was only a matter of time before the incredible 20-year-old would surpass Sergey Bubka’s world outdoor best of 6.14m and the European champion, who is still only in his second season as a senior, eclipsed Bubka’s long-standing mark by one centimetre.
Duplantis needed two attempts at 5.85m but normal service was resumed with a first-time clearance at 6.00m to break Bubka’s meeting record of 5.94m. For the fifth successive competition, Duplantis asked the officials to raise the bar to 6.15m and after dislodging the crossbar with his chest on the first attempt, Duplantis sailed clear on the second time of asking.
Duplantis looked capable of surpassed Bubka’s outdoor mark in the street meeting in Lausanne earlier this month before bad light halted proceedings after the Swede slingshotted himself over an outdoor lifetime best of 6.07m and blustery conditions forced Duplantis to bail out of his three attempts at 6.15m at the ISTAF in Berlin on Sunday.
But despite admitting earlier in the season that he was struggling to compete at the higher heights without an audience present, Duplantis cleared 6.15m in a virtually deserted Olympic Stadium in Rome. The organisers were hoping to admit 5000 fans into the arena but the event took place behind closed doors due to health and safety.
Duplantis has now cleared 6.00m or higher in ten competitions indoors and outdoors this year, racking up the three highest vaults in history with 6.15m in Rome and world records of 6.17m in Torun and 6.18m in Glasgow. The Swede will close his season in the Doha Diamond League next Friday.
More to follow…