What's it like to vault over a two-storey building?
Sweden's Armand Duplantis clears the bar to set a world pole vault record of 6.17 metres at the Orlen Copernicus Cup 2020 World Athletics Indoor meeting on February 8, 2020 in Torun, Poland. Duplantis, a US-born 20-year-old who won the silver medal at last year's world championships in Doha, broke the previous record of 6.16 m set by French vaulter Renaud Lavillenie in February 2014. (AFP)
Armand Duplantis began setting age-group records at age seven. Although born in the U.S. state of Louisiana, he chose to represent his mother’s native country of Sweden. (AFP)
Sweden's Armand Duplantis concentrates before jumping to set a world pole vault record of 6.17 m at the Orlen Copernicus Cup 2020 World Athletics Indoor meeting on February 08, 2020 in Torun, Poland. (AFP)
His father Greg, who is his coach, was a talented U.S. pole vaulter. His mother, Helena, is a former heptathlete and volleyball player in Sweden.(AFP)
At the Turon event, Duplantis had the runway all to himself for much of the evening as none of the other six competitors could vault higher than 5.52 m. He cleared 5.72, 5.92 and a indoor lifetime best of 6.01 before attempting the world record. (AFP)
With the bar set higher than the world record set by French vaulter Renaud Lavillenie in 2014, Duplantis cleared the bar on his second attempt. (AFP)
The Swede broke the record on his sixth jump of the competition, having narrowly failed to clear the same height in Dusseldorf on Tuesday when he brushed the bar on his way down.
The Swede said breaking records is “something that I wanted since I was three years old.” He added, "It’s a big year, but it’s a good way to start it.”
Duplantis's performance marks him out as a clear favourite for the Olympic title in Tokyo this year. Long considered the man most likely to push the event forward, Duplantis began breaking age group records aged seven. He announced his prodigious talent to a wider audience when he won the European outdoor title in Berlin in 2018 with a vault of 6.05m, a world junior record.
Pole vault legend Sergei Bubka congratulated Duplantis. Fantastic job! It's great that athletics has such great talent," he tweeted. (AFP)
Armand Duplantis celebrates with teammates after setting the world pole vault record (AFP)
The man whose record Duplantis broke, Renaud Lavillenie, the 2012 Olympic champion, said he was not surprised his record had been eclipsed. "It's not a surprise. For two years now I knew he had the potential." "Records are made to be beaten. He has got time on his side to definitely do even better and that's a great thing."