Duplantis improves to 5.93m in Lafayette

Armand Duplantis
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Armand Duplantis improved his world U20 record to 5.93m in Lafayette

On the road to the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis is putting himself in an amazing position to win a medal after yet another record-breaking pole vault performance on Saturday (5).

Duplantis, 18, broke the world U20 record for the second time in just over a month and what an emotional time it was for him as he achieved his success in Lafayette in his last competition for the Lafayette High School.

Having cleared 5.92m at the Texas Relays in Austin last month, the American-based vaulter increased the mark by a centimetre at the LHSAA Outdoor Championships.

On a cloudy day and in front of a big crowd, Duplantis had much to spare as cleared 5.93m, showing the crowd his top with the name of the Lafayette on his singlet.

“I could not have written it better,” said Duplantis. “That was my last jump in a Lafayette uniform. I am going to end perfectly.”


He achieved it with his first attempt, having gone over at 5.45m with his second attempt and 5.82m at the first.

The IAAF World U20 Championships take place in Tampere, Finland in July where the title is his to lose. He is now a clear second on this year’s world lists behind France’s Renaud Lavillenie who leads the world lists with 5.95m.

Vallortigara equals world lead with 1.95m clearance

It has been a superb start to the outdoor season for Italian high jumper Elena Vallortigara, who now finds herself at the top of the world lists after a personal best at the Italian Club Championships in Caorle, a coastal town in the province of Venice, on Saturday.

Vallortigara, who had jumped 1.94m in Siena last month, went one centimetre higher to share the world lead with St Lucia’s Levern Spencer.

A world U18 bronze medallists eleven years ago in Ostrava - and a former world U20 medallist as well - this could be the summer where Vallortigara, 26, makes her mark on the senior stage.

There was also a standout performance on track from Marcell Jacobs who went to fifth on the Italian all-time 100m lists with a lifetime best of 10.12 in Florence where he enjoyed favourable sprinting conditions and a 1.9 m/s tailwind.

Witek closing in on Polish javelin record

Marcelina Witek moved to second on Poland’s all-time javelin lists with a European-leading mark of 66.53m in Bialogard on Saturday.

The fifth best performance in the world this year is a brilliant base for Witek to take into the busy months. She will look for more success having won bronze on home soil in Bydgoszcz at the European Athletics U23 Championships last July before gold at the World University Games in Taipei.

That throw improves her personal best of 63.31m by more than three metres. It also puts her ever closer to the Polish record of 67.11m which Maria Andrejczyk set when she topped qualifying at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro before finishing fourth in the final.

At the annual throws meeting in Tripoli, Greece on Saturday, two performances stood out. Paraskevas Batzavalis won the javelin with 85.46m to far surpass the qualifying standard for the European Championships in Berlin while Hristos Frantzeskakis was in brilliant form in the men’s hammer (6kg), delivering a world U20 lead of 81.32m in the third round.

Olympic sprint medallists open outdoor campaigns

Spain’s Orlando Ortega, the Olympic 110m hurdles silver medallist, opened his season at his training camp in Ostia, Italy, on Saturday with victory in 13.60 while Olympic 200m bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre opened his season with victory over 200m at the French Inter-Clubs in Venissieux on Sunday (6) in 20.84.

Reigning European indoor 400m champion Floria Guei won the women’s 200m in 23.15 and former world indoor champion Eloyse Lesueur-Aymonin won the long jump with 6.58m.

In Franconville, Mouhamadou Fall improved his PB in the 100m to 10.14 and Axel Chapelle cleared 5.70m in the pole vault.

In Tomblaine, Czech Republic’s Nikol Ogrodnikova continued her excellent early season form with 63.18m in the javelin and three-time European 50km race walk champion Yohann Diniz won the 5000m race walk in 19:30.73.

Former world bronze medallist and European U23 champion Alexandra Tavernier went out to 72.82m in the hammer in Moirans.