The bar hardly rattled and when he climbed up off the mat to see it still intact, Armand Duplantis began pumping the air. In an instant he fell to his knees in delight as another landmark in his sensational young career started to sink in.
With his third attempt at the six metre-barrier at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Saturday, Sweden’s European champion Duplantis had gone clear – to become the first athlete in history to achieve such a height in a collegiate competition.
Not only that, it was also an improvement on his world lead and another step on the way to bidding for gold at the IAAF World Championships in Doha in September.
— LSUTrackField (@LSUTrackField) May 12, 2019
He looked up again – perhaps just to be sure the bar was still there – before doing a backflip to keep the celebrations going as his clearance broke the mark of 5.98m which Lawrence Johnson had achieved in 1996. Duplantis was not even born until November 1999 – and the teenage star has now become the dominant force of the event.
Having failed on his first two attempts at 6.00m, he made history on a day where he had began with 5.45m followed by clearances at 5.63m and 5.81m.
Going over 6.00m revived memories of his European Championships victory when he took gold with 6.05m as he broke that barrier for the first time to become European champion, breaking the championship record and world U20 record in the process.
Haratyk, Krukowski and Fiodorow produce big marks in Kielce
Another European champion in winning form over the weekend was Poland’s Michal Haratyk who moved to the top of the European list with an effort of 21.46m at home in Kielce on Saturday.
Fellow Pole Konrad Bukowiecki had topped the European lists with 21.32m from Haratyk’s 21.18m but that all changed at this traditional opening throwing meet courtesy of Haratyk’s performance.
The strength in Polish shot putting is such that Bukowiecki had to settle for third in Kielce as Jakub Szyszkowski went out to 20.77m with Bukowiecki third with 19.99m.
Haratyk was not alone in setting the European standard as European fourth-placer Marcin Krukowski soared to the top of the European javelin list with victory in 84.76 from Lukasz Grzeszczuk with 82.82m.
And the strength in Polish hammer throwing was also on show in Kielce. European champion Wojciech Nowicki won the men’s event with 75.55m while Joanna Fiodorow defeated Ukraine’s Iryna Klymets in the women’s competition - 73.10m to 71.09m.
Tentoglou opens outdoor season with a European-leading mark
The theme was continued in Greece with another reigning European indoor and outdoor champion stamping their authority over their event once more.
Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou, who won the European indoor long jump title in Glasgow with a national record and world lead of 8.38m, produced a European-leading mark of 8.10m on his season’s debut at the Vergotia Meeting on the island of Cephalonia.
It looks set to be a good year again for Tentoglou and his training partner Paraskevi Papahristou as she seeks more success after winning the European triple jump title in Berlin. Competing in her secondary event, Papahristou won the long jump with 6.59m, one centimetre adrift of her personal best.
With the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships not far away now, Greek hammer thrower Hristos Frantzeskakis will be one of the medal favourites as he showed by breaking the national U20 record with both implements in Tripoli
With the U20 6km hammer, Frantzeskakis threw a world lead of 81.72m and then in the senior event, he was second with another national U20 record of 72.07m as Mihail Anastasakis won with 74.57m.
Mayer and Johnson-Thompson just miss shot put lifetime bests in Montpellier
It will be another big year for France’s world decathlon record-holder Kevin Mayer as he gears up to defend his decathlon title at the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this season.
Fresh from a training stint in Japan in preparation for next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Mayer took part in a handful of events at his training base in Montpellier across the weekend, showing good form ahead of the Decastar in Talence next month.
On Saturday, Mayer ran 10.89 for the 100m and reached out to 16.20m in the shot put, only 31 centimetres shy of his lifetime best. He also recorded a solid mark of 47.31m in the discus the following day.
World and European indoor pentathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson also went out to 13.05m in the shot put in Montpellier, missing her lifetime best by just ten centimetres.
After an excellent indoor season capped off with her second European indoor title with a world-leading score, Johnson-Thompson is now preparing for the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting at the end of this month.