Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis has broken Sergey Bubka’s 26-year-old outdoor world record at the Diamond League in Rome.
Duplantis cleared 6 metres, 15 centimetres at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meet in Rome with his second attempt, beating Bubka’s mark of 6.14m set in Sestriere in July 1994.
Nicknamed “Mondo,” Duplantis already holds the indoor world record of 6.18 metres set in Glasgow in February — when he broke the world record twice in a week — but Bubka’s classic outdoor mark was viewed by many as the ultimate test.
World Athletics has not distinguished between indoor and outdoor records in pole vault since 2000.
“World record — finally! It is so cool,” Duplantis said.
“I wanted to get over 6.15 so badly. Everybody kept talking about it, it was a big chip on my shoulder … When I did it, it was more relief than joy.”
The 20-year-old Duplantis, who was born and raised in the United States, came agonisingly close on his first attempt before clearing the bar on his second.
“It is crazy,” Duplantis said. “It has been a long time coming.
“Coming into the season we did not know if we were able to do any competition at all. This world record is really unexpected and I am very grateful.”
The son of an American pole vaulter who grew up with a pole vault pit in his garden at home in Louisiana, he was vaulting higher than a London double-decker bus as a teenager and at 17, he had already cleared 5.90m.
He chose to compete internationally for Sweden, his mother’s home country, and won the silver medal at last year’s world championships.