Sweden's Armand "Mondo" Duplantis wins men's pole vault gold medal

The world record-holder highlighted his class as the only man in the competition to clear six metres on the night to land his maiden Olympic title.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Sweden's Armand "Mondo" Duplantis confirmed his status as the best pole vaulter in the world with a winning leap of 6.02 metres at Tokyo's National Stadium.

The 21-year-old Duplantis was the only man to clear the height to land the title just a centimetre lower than the Olympic record Brazil's Thiago Braz set in Rio 2016.

But Duplantis asked for the bar to be raised one centimetre higher than the world record he set in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2020. He came painstakingly close in his audacious attempt but could not scale the eye-watering height of 6.19m. Duplantis has been in superior form over the last two years, highlighted by his world-record leap of 6.18m.

Christopher Nilsen produced a lifetime best of 5.97m to claim the silver medal, with defending champion Braz taking bronze scaling 5.87m.

Duplantis has already proven himself as the future of the men’s pole vault – other than setting the world record – winning the silver medal at the world championships in Doha at 19 years of age. The victory in the Japanese capital city effectively rubber-stamped his meteoric rise in the event beating two former champions to the top of the podium. 

London 2012 champion Renaud Lavillenie of France finished eighth on the night and watched on as the Swedish prodigy raise the bar in an event he once dominated.

"It's a surreal feeling, really, I still don't know how to explain it. It's something I've wanted for so long and now that it's finally here, and I finally did it, it's so crazy,” said Duplantis.

"Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved this sport so much and I have always believed that it would take me to some great places, and the fact that I'm actually here, I'm at the Olympics and being able to win it is fantastic."