Pole vault world record-holder lives up to the hype to successfully defend his world title
There were a number of heavy odds on favourites going into these World Championships in Budapest. They included shot putter Ryan Crouser, triple jumper Yulimar Rojas, middle-distance runners Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Faith Kipyegon and 400m hurdlers Femke Bol and Sydney McLaughlin.
Perhaps the strongest favourite of all, though, was pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis and on Saturday (Aug 26) he duly delivered with gold.
The Swedish athlete cleared a best of 6.10m before three unsuccessful attempts on the world reord of 6.23m.
Behind, Ernest Obiena of the Philippines took silver by equalling his Asian record of 6.00m while Chris Nilsen of the United States and Kurtis Marschall of Australian sharing bronze with 5.95m.
“I’m really happy about all these consecutive golds,” Duplantis said. “I don’t know where this one ranks, but I’m happy to keep winning. This was maybe the craziest atmosphere I’ve ever competed in, so it meant a lot to be able to turn on a pole vault show for them. There were so many Swedish supporters here, it almost felt like I was in the Stockholm stadium.”
Duplantis began his campaign with a modest height, for him, of 5.55m, but he moved up to clear 5.85m, 5.95m, 6.00m and 6.10m in style.
Five men in total went over 5.95m with Thibaut Collet of France a surprise package and just missing out on a podium place on countback. Obiena had failed attempts at 6.05m and 6.10m as he tried to challenge Duplantis but the world record-holder reigned supreme.
“I’ll be ready for Paris and the Olympics but right now I want to live in the moment and enjoy these World Championships and this title,” he added. “I’ll celebrate this, then think about Paris.”
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