Armand Duplantis tops USA’s Kendrick in latest pole vault duel
Lafayette native Armand “Mondo” Duplantis still rules the world of pole vaulting.
Competing against rival Sam Kendricks of the USA, Duplantis won Wednesday’s Athletissima event in Diamond League action in Lausanne, Switzerland, with a clearance of 6.07 meters (19-9).
Duplantis and Kendrick battled toe-to-toe in the event, with Kendrick notching first-try clearances at 5.87, 5.92, 5.97 and 6.02 before missing at 6.07.
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It was the first time in history two vaulters cleared 6.02 outdoors.
Both Renee Lavillenie of France, the 2012 Olympic champion, and 2016 champion Thiego Braz of Brazile trailed at 5.72.
Lafayette High and LSU product Duplantis had one attempt at 6.15 before gathering darkness made further action unwise.
“In the end it got too dark to go for 6.15m and I felt it was unsafe to continue any further,” said Duplantis. “I felt I was in the zone. But you have to be prudent.
“It was a fantastic evening. The conditions, crowd, competition – it was all fabulous. Sam is a fabulous competitor, and I feel we bring the best out of each other. We kept pushing each other and you can see the result. It reminded me a bit of the Ultimate Garden Clash, we kept going after the next height. It was quick. I loved it.
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“You can see a lot of us are getting back to our best shape,” he added. “Renaud was good, Thiago is getting back there. We could be looking at some great pole vaulting in what is left of this season.”
Earlier this year, Duplantis set the word indoor record at 6.17, then topped that at 6.18.