Armand Duplantis was the heavy favorite to win the gold medal in the men’s pole vault at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.
But on Sunday night at Hayward Field, on the final night of the world championships, Duplantis not only won the gold but also broke his own world record to put an exclamation point on the 10-day competition.
Duplantis, who competes for Sweden, cleared 20 feet, 4½ inches (6.21m) to improve on his own previous world record of 20-4 set in March in Belgrade, Serbia. It was the fifth time Duplantis had broken the pole vault world record, dating back to February 2020.
Christopher Nilsen of the United States and Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines each cleared 19-5¾ (5.94m), with Nilsen claiming the silver by virtue of fewer misses and Obiena taking the bronze.
“Mondo is going to keep breaking records and I am just going to keep doing my thing,” Nilsen said. “This medal means to me that I am very consistent in what I am doing — to be the top three in the world.”
After Duplantis cleared both 19-8¼ (6.00m) and 19-10½ (6.06m) on his first attempt, he had the bar raised to 20-4½ to go for the world record. He missed on his first attempt, but then successfully went up and over on his second attempt.
The Hayward crowd roared and Duplantis celebrated. Not just a gold medal to match the one Duplantis won at last year’s Tokyo Olympics. But also another world record.
Duplantis said he didn’t think much about the world record during the competition, intent instead on bringing home the gold.
“Usually, it is always somewhere in the back of my mind, but today, I was really focused on the win and I really wanted to win the gold so badly,” Duplantis said. “It was the medal I was missing.”
Three world records fell in Eugene, all coming in the final three days of the meet. American Sydney McLaughlin shattered her own world mark in the women’s 400-meter hurdles on Friday night, winning in 50.68 seconds. Earlier Sunday, Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan broke the world record in the women’s 100-meter hurdles by finishing her semifinal race in 12.12 seconds.