Four days after going so close to the world record on his season’s debut at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf, Armand Duplantis took pole vaulting into a new age at the Copernicus Cup in Torun on Saturday (8) night with an amazing vault of 6.17m – the greatest clearance, indoors or out.
Amid incredible scenes at the venue which will host next year’s European Athletics Indoor Championships, the Swedish superstar produced an unforgettable moment in the history of the sport
Still just 20, the European champion from Berlin broke the mark of 6.16m which France’s Renaud Lavillenie had set indoors in Donetsk, Ukraine six years ago. “I don't think everything has sunk in, I feel like I'm hallucinating!,” Duplantis told Polish television as he tried to take in his achievement. "It doesn't even feel like my feet are on the ground. It feels like I'm in a fake world right now, I need to let this sink in.
“Ever since I started vaulting in my backyard, when I was in diapers, I wanted to be the best that's ever lived – to break the world record. I don’t know how to explain the feeling, it’s something I have been shooting for since I was three years old.”
— Andreas Duplantis (@dreasduplantis) February 8, 2020
His incredible vault on the Sportflex Super X surface installed by European Athletics Green Inspiration Partner Mondo came on his second attempt.
Dressed all in black with white socks - but minus the headband he sported in Dusseldorf - Duplantis twisted left and then right as he went over the bar almost completely cleanly, just gently nudging the bar, clearing it with it gusto to land this remarkable success.
Athletics is in his blood as the son of the American pole vaulter Greg Duplantis and Swedish heptathlete Helena Hedlund. And while his father’s personal best was 5.80m, Armand has set a standard that could last for decades.
The world silver medallist is now clear favourite for the Olympic title and he added: “There's no secret to it. It's a lot of hard work and everything I do in practice and in my entire life builds up to this one moment.
“There are so many people to thank – my mum and dad and my coaches right now – my mum is in the crowd to witness this special moment not only for me but also for my family. There are so many people who believed I could do this today and that really pushes me and helps me to get over those bars...all the support I had from everybody is the reason why I did this."
One of the first to congratulate Duplantis on his world record was Ukraine's Sergey Bubka, the six-time world outdoor champion and 1988 Olympic champion who also took the world record from 5.85m all the way up to 6.14m during his unparalleled career.
6.17!!!@mondohoss600 broke the pole vault world record at @WorldAthletics
Indoor Tour meeting in Torun!
My sincere congratulations to Armand and his parents!
It's great athletics has got such talents.
Move higher!@EuroAthletics @worldolympians pic.twitter.com/WwvPWYotXo
— Sergey Bubka (@sergey_bubka) February 8, 2020
World pole vault progression
6.07m Sergey Bubka, Shizuoka (6 May 1991)
6.08m Sergey Bubka, Moscow (9 June 1991)
6.09m Sergey Bubka, Formia (8 July 1991)
6.10m Sergey Bubka, Malmo (5 August 1991)
6.11m Sergey Bubka, Dijon (13 June 1992)
6.12m Sergey Bubka, Padua (30 August 1992)
6.13m Sergey Bubka, Tokyo (19 September 1992)
6.14m Sergey Bubka, Sestriere (31 July 1994)
6.16m Renaud Lavillenie, Donetsk (15 February 2014)
6.17m Armand Duplantis, Torun (8 February 2020)
Swiety-Ersetic smashes Polish indoor record
It is another big year for Poland's Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and she rubber-stamped her fine early form by treating the home crowd to a national record for the second time here in three seasons.
Having set the mark with 51.78 at this meeting in 2018, Swiety-Ersetic lowered her record to a world leading 51.37 as she won the first of the two 400m finals.
The European outdoor 400m and 4x400m relay champion from Berlin in 2018 will have eyes on the Olympics this summer as well as defending her titles at the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships at the end of August.
Swiety-Ersetic is running consistently well this winter and reversed the positions from Dusseldorf on Tuesday night as she won from the Netherlands' Lisanne de Witte, second in 51.90, with Switzerland’s European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger in third in 51.93.
Bekh-Romanchuk inches closer to the seven metre-line
What a few days it is proving to be for Ukraine's Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk. Having broken her personal best with a world-leading long jump of 6.92m in Karlsruhe at the end of last month, she extended that by four centimetres to 6.96m with the furthest effort of her career as she beat Nigeria’s Ese Brume, second with 6.62m, although any of her six jumps would have won the competition.
Her overall lifetime best had stood at 6.93m from outdoors in Lutsk in 2016 but once more Bekh-Romanchuk is knocking on the door of seven metres.
World indoor 60m hurdles Andrew Pozzi from Great Britain maintained his early season consistency as he won the final in 7.53.
Just a fraction outside of the 7.52 world lead he shares with US athlete Trey Cunningham, Pozzi triumphed by the narrowest of narrow margins - a mere 0.01 - from US athlete Jarret Eaton in a repeat of the outcome from the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Former European and outdoor champion Alina Talay from Belarus is very much on her way back to top form after two injury plagued seasons. After winning her heat in 7.93, Talay was then the dominant force in the final with victory in 7.87 - just 0.02 shy of her national record - from Nigeria's Tobi Amusan (7.89).
Volko maintains early season form with victory in the 60m
It has been almost a year since Slovakia's Jan Volko was crowned the European indoor 60m champion in Glasgow and he just missed his national record of 6.57 by 0.01, winning in 6.58 from the Netherlands' Joris van Gool (6.59) and Great Britain’s former world and European indoor champion Richard Kilty (6.60).
The home fans might have been hoping to see Michal Haratyk or Konrad Bukowiecki land victory in the shot put but they were beaten by a fine performance from the Czech Republic's Tomas Stanek.
Stanek had held the world lead of 21.23m until Filip Mihaljevic's 21.52m in Dusseldorf which Poland's Konrad Bukowiecki then extended that to 21.88m in Ostrava.
But Stanek flexed his muscles for a season's best with 21.86m from Haratyk, second with 21.50m, and Mihaljevic, third with 21.42m.