Duplantis: "I am not promising anything but I advise you to watch!"

Armand Duplantis
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Sweden's Armand Duplantis almost broke the world record in the pole vault on his season's debut at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf

Armand Duplantis cleared 6.07m in Lievin on Wednesday (19) night before serving an important reminder to the world that he is still human with three unsuccessful attempts at a prospective world record height of 6.19m.

A third world record in the space of eleven days seemed more than a possibility after treating 6.07m as if it was a warm-up height but Duplantis admitted the exertions of the last fortnight were beginning to catch up with him ever so slightly.

Duplantis had two close attempts at 6.19m before stalling out on his third attempt. He said his legs felt fatigued and assessed he didn’t feel quite as sharp on the approach only four days after clearing 6.18m in Glasgow but that is not to say we won’t see another big vault from Duplantis on his adieu to the indoor season at the All-Star Perche in Clermont-Ferrand on Sunday (23).

“Here, I am flat but I think by Sunday I will have regained my energy,” Duplantis told L’Equipe after Lievin. “The All Star Perche, it is a great name for a competition, it is a great place to jump. I am not promising anything but I advise you to watch!”

With the World Indoor Championships in Nanjing postponed until 2021, the All-Star Perche in Clermont-Ferrand could stake a claim for acting as the de facto world championships. The 2018 edition produced the deepest set of results in the history of the discipline with seven vaulters clearing 5.88m or higher - including Duplantis himself who raised his world U20 record to 5.88m. 

Duplantis has now taken ownership of the world record from France’s Renaud Lavillenie who will be in action on Sunday as well as acting as the meeting organiser for the third and final Indoor Special Premium Permit Meeting of 2020. And even if Duplantis can’t quite scale 6.19m on Sunday, Lavillenie’s meeting record of 6.02m should certainly be within the Swede’s capacity.

Two-time world outdoor champion Sam Kendricks from the United States, who finished second on countback to Piotr Lisek from Poland last year, will also be in action along with Lavillenie’s younger brother Valentin and Ben Broeders who improved his Belgian record to 5.80m in Lievin on Wednesday.

While Duplantis was attempting 6.19m in Lievin, reigning world indoor champion Sandi Morris from the United States was also attempting to add her name to the record books on the adjacent runway. After requiring three attempts at 4.78m, Morris kept her unbeaten run intact by clearing 4.83m before raising the bar to a world indoor record height of 5.03m. The current record of 5.02m belongs to her compatriot Jenn Suhr who is also in action in Clermont-Ferrand along with former world champion Yarisley Silva from Cuba.

The European interest in the women's competition is headed by Great Britain's Holly Bradshaw who has won her three indoor competitions this winter, including Paris at the start of February with 4.61m and then Rouen with 4.63m. 

Best marks achieved in Clermont-Ferrand

6.02m Renaud Lavillenie (2016)
6.00m Sergey Bubka (1994)
5.93m Sam Kendricks (2018)
5.93m Renaud Lavillenie (2018)
5.93m Piotr Lisek (2019)
5.93m Kendricks (2019)
5.91m Shawn Barber (2016)
5.88m Pawel Wojciechowski (2018)
5.88m Axel Chapelle (2018)
5.88m Armand Duplantis (2018)
5.88m Lisek (2018)
5.88m Kevin Menaldo (2018)
5.87m Kurtis Marschall (2019)
5.84m Konstandinos Filippidis (2016)
5.84m Kendricks (2016)
5.84m Wojciechowski (2016)