Sweden’s pole vaulter Armand Duplantis scales new heights at INIT Indoor Meeting in Karlsruhe

Armand Duplantis at the World Athletics Indoor Tour in Karlsruhe
Armand Duplantis at the World Athletics Indoor Tour in Karlsruhe
Navneet Singh

Sweden’s Olympic champion and world record holder Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis became the first pole vaulter to clear six meters at the INIT Indoor Meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany on Friday. The competition is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold label event.

The 22-year-old cleared 6.02m to erase the meeting record of 5.95m achieved by Renaud Lavillenie in 2021.

Duplantis started the competition at 5.51m. He later raised the bar to 5.71m and 5.89m, clearing both the heights on his first attempts. After opting to pass the height of 5.96m, the bar was raised to 6.02m, which Duplantis cleared on his first go. With the gold medal secured, the world indoor record holder then attempted the 6.19m but missed.

While KC Lightfoot from America cleared 5.89m to finish second, Valentin Lavillenie of France was third as he cleared a height of 5.71m.

“When I found out that nobody had jumped six meters in Karlsruhe, I felt like it was about that time that somebody did it,” Duplantis was quoted as saying by World Athletics.

Spotlight was also on Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi as he ran solo the fifth-fastest indoor 3000m in history. The 20-year-old Ethiopian clocked 7:26.20 to win gold and moved behind Kenya’s Daniel Komen on the world indoor all-time list. Komen achieved his world record of 7:24.90 in Budapest in 1998, three years before Aregawi was born.

Although Komen's record has been under attack over the past year, it ultimately survived another day. Following the pacemakers through 1000m in 2:27.20, the Ethiopian was on a world record pace, and when the second pacer left the track with seven laps to go, Aregawi forged on.

He passed 2000m for 4:56.87 and roared around the final lap to cross the finish line with 7:26.20 on the clock. Aregawi's previous best was 7:29.24 clocked last year in Lievin – the fastest-ever indoor performance by a teenager.

Spain’s Adel Mechaal was second at 7:36.57 while Kenya’s Jacob Krop clocked 7:36.57 to finish third.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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