Could it really be any other way? The favorite in the pole vault final, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis rose above the competition to win the gold medal at the European Championships in Munich, Germany on Saturday, August 20. Thanks to a crossed crossbar at 5.90 meters, he overcame the German Bo Kanda Lita Baehre (2me) and the Norwegian Pal Haugen Lillefosse (3me).
He still hadn’t missed a single jump, that all his competitors were already eliminated. Furthermore, he finished his competition without having knocked down the bar even once. Having calmly thrown his competition at 5.65m, the 22-year-old Swede easily topped 5.85m before donning his blue parka and watching his competitors stumble at this height one after another. Among them, the Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie (7me) and Thibaut Collet (5me), both unable to raise their level in the cold conditions of Munich (less than 20°C).
After passing the warm-up bars, Duplantis only had one man on her way to a second European title: Bo Kanda Lita Baehre. Buoyed by the support of the public for him, the German, despite everything, lasted little against Duplantis, disconcertingly easy to pass without problem 5.90 meters and then 5.95 meters. Heard of the gold medal race, “Mondo” could attack the records.
A career that ultimately did not last long. Armand Duplantis was content to ask for, and pass just as easily, a bar of 6.06 metres, to beat his own record at the European Championships. Five jumps, a record, and the pole vaults were saved without even attempting the world record.
From Germany to Germany
” Germany is such a special country for me, that’s something extraordinary”, confided the champion to the microphone of France TV Sport a few minutes after his title. In 2018, Armand Duplantis discovered the European Championships in Berlin with the label of the young prodigy brought in to replace the star of the discipline, Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie.
In a daunting competition, “Mondo” had beaten, jump after jump, his personal best, until winning the title with a last flight at 6.05 meters. Within seconds of crossing his last bar, the Swede did not seem to believe it on the tatami, just like the spectators of the Olympic Stadium.
Four years later, athletics fans have learned to trivialize Duplantis’ exploits. Therefore, the Swede was back on Saturday at the European Championships, still in Germany. Meanwhile, Berlin gave way to Munich, and the young athlete became an insatiable ogre with a career that made him the undisputed and undisputed star of his discipline.
It’s very simple, the Swede has won everything since that famous night in Berlin. Following his revelation, the pole vaulter became, in 2021, the European indoor champion, gold medalist at the Olympics and winner of the Diamond League (the annual multi-stage world athletics competition).
His only opponents: records
Only the world championships in Qatar and the American Sam Kendricks had eluded him in 2019. An “error of honor” was restored in July 2022 when Armand Duplantis won the title at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon.
In the United States, the 22-year-old star also took the opportunity to raise his world record to 6.21 meters. A performance ” nothing bad “he had fun before the microphone of the stadium, aware that he has not yet touched, or even touched, his ceiling.
Because, in addition to collecting titles and medals, the native of Lafayette (Louisiana) did not wait long to steal the world record from Renaud Lavillenie, which the Frenchman had raised to 6.16 meters in 2014.
Two years after his first European title, Armand Duplantis took advantage of a meeting in Poland in 2020 to rise to 6.17 meters and confirm once again that he was alone at the top of the pole vault.
“You have to be honest, there are no surprises, Renaud Lavillenie explained to RMC Sport the night he was stripped of his record. There was no reason why it shouldn’t fall quickly. I had the honor [d’avoir le record] for six years, I have no reason to be disappointed. He has all the talent to make it even better. It’s nice ! »
Since then, his Swedish rival has proved him right, taking maximum care of his mark centimeter by centimeter. If he didn’t try to take his world record even higher on Saturday, it seems highly unlikely that he won’t continue to push it for years to come.
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