Armand Duplantis wins in Liévin but misses world record

The Swede cleared 6.07m but was unable to add to his 6.18m mark from Glasgow.

By ZK Goh

Armand Duplantis came agonisingly close to setting a third pole vault world record in the span of just 11 days, but ultimately settled for a win on the World Athletics Indoor Tour.

The American-born Swede, who cleared 6.18 metres on Saturday (15 February) in Glasgow, nearly added a centimetre to his best but knocked the bar over with his shin on his second attempt at 6.19m in Liévin, France.

He had previously broken Renaud Lavillenie's old mark of 6.16m when he vaulted 6.17m in Torun, Poland, on 8 February.

Duplantis was in scintillating form in France, easily clearing the bar at 5.60m, 5.80m, 5.90m, and 6.07m on his first try at each of those heights. However, he had to be content with the last of those heights as his final result, which was enough to win the meet.

Nearest rival Sam Kendricks could only clear 5.90m, doing so on his third and final attempt. He had one miss at 5.95m before choosing to retire from the competition.

Meanwhile, in the women's pole vault, Rio 2016 silver medallist Sandi Morris attempted to clear 5.03m, which would have been a new world indoor record, but was unable to do so.

Sweden's Armand Duplantis in action during the Pole Vault Men's event in Liévin (Photo: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)

World Record watch

With Duplantis having broken the World Record twice in the last 11 days, everyone in a sell-out 5,000-strong crowd in northeastern France was hoping for a repeat.

But, as the 20-year-old himself pointed out after his second record-breaking feat on Saturday, "it's unfair to think I'll break it every time I compete.

"Winning is always the goal, then if I have the energy left I’ll crank it up a bit.”

Here, he had the win in the bag early with his easy clearance at 6.07m, and he clearly had the energy to "crank it up", although it wasn't to be.

The Swede, nicknamed "Mondo", has already had to play down suggestions that he could become athletics' next global superstar at such a young age ahead of Tokyo 2020.

"I don't blame them for wanting me to have a crazy career like Usain Bolt," he said when posed the question by the BBC.

The 2020 World Indoor Tour ends in Madrid, Spain, on Friday (21 February).

Duplantis is not scheduled to participate, having already won the overall pole vault title.