Pole vault star soars over 6.15m in Rome

Mondo Duplantis has become a true star of athletics and he now shines even brighter following Thursday’s Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meeting, where the 20-year-old broke Sergey Bubka’s world outdoor pole vault best in superb style.

After smashing the outright world record with 6.17m and then further improving it to 6.18m on consecutive weekends indoors in February, it was only a matter of time until the Swede soared to similar heights outside. At Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, he added 1cm to the mark Ukrainian pole vault great Bubka set in 1994 – more than five years before Duplantis was born.

“I think it was more relief than anything. I just wanted to get it out the way, just do it,” said Duplantis in his track-side interview shown by the BBC as he explained his feelings on finally achieving the height.

“There has been a bit of confusion since they changed the rule to one world record (for both indoors and outdoors). Some people didn’t understand that the indoor world record I have is the world record, it covers both spectrums. I wanted to do the outdoor best just to clear the confusion – I have both!”

READ MORE: Mondo Duplantis could vault 6.25m, believes Renaud Lavillenie

Entering the competition at 5.45m, Duplantis took a total of eight vaults as he cleared his opening height first time and then passed to also achieve 5.70m and 5.80m on his first attempts. After clearing 5.85m second time to win the competition he had the bar moved to 6.00m, which he soared over first time.

His first attempt at 6.15m was incredibly close. His second was sublime.

Belgium’s Ben Broeders achieved a national record to finish runner-up, clearing 5.80m on his second attempt, while Ernest John Obiena of Philippines was third after also clearing 5.80m.

France’s Renaud Lavillenie, who Duplantis succeeded as world record-holder over the winter, cleared 5.70m for fourth as he continues his comeback after injury. Britain’s newly-crowned national champion and record-holder Harry Coppell achieved 5.60m for fifth.

Karsten’s consistency continues

Karsten Warholm is another athlete with a world record in his sights and the two-time world champion continued his consistency with another impressive performance.

After 47.10 in Monaco, the Norwegian stormed to the second-fastest 400m hurdles time in history with 46.87 in Stockholm before clocking 47.62 in Ostrava, 47.08 in Berlin and then 47.07 in Rome.

No other athlete had broken 49 seconds in 2020 but, behind Warholm on Thursday evening, Ludvy Vaillant clocked 48.69 and Rasmus Mägi 48.72 to finish a distant second and third.

Dutch hurdler Femke Bol also continued her winning ways in Rome, clocking 53.90 in the women’s 400m hurdles as Britain’s Jessie Knight was sixth in 55.58.

Back in the field events, Andriy Protsenko’s gamble to move straight to 2.30m after two failures at 2.27m paid off as the Ukrainian soared clear to claim high jump victory ahead of home favourite Gianmarco Tamberi.

Tamberi tried 2.30m once before two failures at 2.32m, while Protsenko went on to try 2.34m twice following his winning clearance.

The meet saw a Ukrainian high jump double as Yuliya Levchenko cleared 1.98m to win the women’s event.

The USA’s Nick Ponzio won the shot put with a throw of 21.09m.

The meeting in Rome also saw a thrilling 3000m as Jacob Kiplimo beat Jakob Ingebrigtsen in a highly-anticipated clash. Click here to read our full report.

There were wins for Britain’s Jemma Reekie and Andrew Pozzi and you can read more about their performances here.

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