Sweden’s world pole vault record-holder Armand Duplantis received the prestigious and highly acclaimed Bragdguldet prize – the Gold Medal prize – which has been awarded annually since 1925 by Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
Duplantis is the first athlete to win this prize since 2005 when high jumper Kajsa Bergqvist was awarded the accolade after returning from a career-threatening Achilles injury to win the world title in Helsinki.
Duplantis twice broke the world record during the indoor season with clearances of 6.17m and 6.18m on back-to-back weekends in Torun and Glasgow.
He also surpassed Sergey Bubka’s world outdoor best with 6.15m in Rome and despite an abbreviated summer campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, Duplantis still matched Bubka’s record of ten competitions at 6.00m or higher in one season.
“It feels good. It is so cool. I did not win 2018 but came back and won it this year, it’s an honour. I jumped really well and really high,” said Duplantis, who is back in Louisiana in the United States having based himself in Sweden for the summer season.
One of the jury members was Carolina Kluft, the world, European and Olympic heptathlon champion who won this award in 2003.
“I feel proud today as an athlete that Armand Duplantis was awarded the gold medal. It will be very exciting to see his development. Next year is the Olympics and we will see a lot more of Duplantis,” she said.
Duplantis is also in contention for the Male World Athlete of the Year award which will be presented virtually by World Athletics on Saturday (5) evening. Duplantis is one of five finalists alongside Karsten Warholm from Norway, Germany’s Johannes Vetter, Ryan Crouser from the United States and Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda.