“Pole vaulting is more of a competition against myself than against others”

Armand Duplantis improved his pole vault world record for the eighth time on Saturday April 20, crossing the 6.24 m mark during a Diamond League meeting in Xiamen (China). On this occasion, we are republishing our meeting with the world champion, published at the beginning of March.

The saltire is an ecosystem, a bayou in which Armand “Mondo” Duplantis has reigned supreme for six years. At 24, the Swedish pole vaulter, born in Lafayette (Louisiana), in Cajun country, won everything. To the point of giving his discipline the air of inevitability: at the end of a pole vaulting competition, it is always he who wins.

Read also | Pole vaulter Armand Duplantis retains his title at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow

On March 3, in Glasgow (Scotland), during the World Indoor Championships, despite some unusual difficulties, he won an eighth international gold medal, the seventh in a row in a major championship. Since his first continental title, in 2018, barely an adult, he has won four world titles, two European titles and an Olympic title. His last big “defeat” dates back to 2019, a second place at the Doha Worlds, behind the American Sam Kendricks. Another era, as confessed to World this ephemeral rival: “’Mondo’ has grown to a point where I can’t go. »

Armand Duplantis does not just continue the titles. With his nonchalant gait and his hero’s face teen soap opera, he is also the man who jumped the highest, the most often. Fifty-five times, already, beyond the mythical bar of 6 meters. Above all, he broke the world record seven times to bring it to 6.23 m in September 2023, relegating the Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie, previous holder of the world record, to 7 centimeters, and the “tsar of the pole”, the ‘Ukrainian Sergei Bubka, 9 centimeters.

“At the Paris Games, I must win”

On February 21, on the eve of the All Star Pole Vault organized in Clermont-Ferrand by his friend Renaud Lavillenie, Armand Duplantis looked at his place in the history of pole vaulting. “I still have a lot to do to have the best career possibleentrusted to World the one who knows that with ten world titles, Bubka is still ahead of him. But I have confidence that I would beat any current or past pole vaulter in a showdown. »

This summer, on August 5, during the Paris Olympic Games, the young man has every chance of supplanting Bubka and Lavillenie, who have each won only one Olympic title. “It’s a very complicated sport, but I think I’m in a good situation to retain my titleassumes the one who was crowned in Tokyo in 2021. SIf I go to Paris doing what I know how to do, I have to win. »

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