Pole vault superstar Swedish Armand Duplantis won gold at the Eugene-2022 World Cup this Sunday, beating his own world record with a mark of 6.21m, the only title missing from his legendary record.
Duplantis signed a new feat in his native country by jumping 6.21m in his final attempt, more than a centimeter off the gold medal-winning record at the Indoor World Championships in Belgrade in March.
The Olympic champions had already outperformed their competitors and secured the title, but they ended their performance with yet another exploit that finalized the first World Cup held in the United States.
Eugene, standing at Hayward Field in Oregon, erupted with glee and a spirited Duplantis celebrated the achievement with a brilliant somersault.
“You have to save the best for last,” smiling Duplantis said of scheduling his finale for the show. “I’m glad I did it in that position because there was a lot of pressure. I was the only one competing on the track and I’m glad I did well and did well.”
American Christopher Nilsson took silver at the Tokyo-2020 Games and Philippine Ernest John Obiena took bronze, both with a jump of 5.94m.
Brazilian Thiago Braz, Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro-2016 and bronze in Tokyo-2020, finished fourth with 5.87m.
At 22, Duplantis added his first world gold in a showcase he already holds the titles of European Champion (Berlin-2018), Olympic (Tokyo-2020) and World Indoor Championship (Belgrade-2022).
One on Sunday is his fifth world record and third in 2022. Before the Swede’s appearance, the record was held by Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie (6.16m in 2014), who finished fifth on Sunday at the age of 35.
Representing Sweden, his mother’s country, Duplantis was born and raised in the American city of Lafayette (Louisiana).
“Not bad,” Duplantis jokingly took to the microphone for his fans. You’ve given me a good amount of energy to help me move forward. It’s been beautiful, I love Eugene.
With this win, the Swede cleared the only debt he had pending after a disappointing silver in the last 2019 World Cup.
On that occasion he was defeated by American Sam Kendrick, who was unable to defend his title in Eugene due to recent surgery.
In the Eugene final, Duplantis first covered 5.70 m and required two attempts to break the 5.87 m bar.
From there he accelerated with 5.94, 6.00 and 6.06 on the first try. With this final mark, he beat the previous World Cup record set by Australian Dmitry Markov in Canada in 2001 by 1 centimeter.
At that point Duplantis already had Eugene’s gold safe and doubled to attack the 6.20m Frontier.
Duplantis failed his first attempt, but in time, when the last race of the 4×400 relay was played, the Swede caught the attention of the entire stadium and crossed the hitherto unattainable bar of 6.21 metres.
Sweden’s world record in 10 days of competitions came down at the Eugene World Cup.