Mondo Duplantis soars to gold and new world record at Track & Field Worlds

The flying Swede is untouchable in Oregon - much as he has been throughout his career - setting a new outright world record of 6.21m after securing gold in the World Athletics Championships 

By Sean McAlister

Sweden's Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis has won pole vault gold and set a new world record at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

The first world title of his career came in incredible fashion, as he raised the bar to jump 6.21m and add a cm to his previous best set in March 2022.

Duplantis entered these championships as the world indoor and outdoor record holder, as well as the Olympic champion. The only major title missing from his collection was World Championships gold - something he rectified in impressive fashion on the final day of competition in Oregon, pushing on to set the World Championships record off 6.06 with his very next jump after claiming gold.

But the best was yet to come.

After failing his first attempt at 6.21m, the Swede flew over the height to eclipse his own world record and win his World title. As the Hayward Field burst into applause, they realised they had just witnessed something very special from one of the greatest athletes of this generation.

Like the great Sergey Bubka before him, Duplantis has made breaking world records his trademark. But you cannot take away from the athletic brilliance of someone who has literally and figuratively raised the bar in his sport.

Just as at Tokyo 2020, Chris Nilsen of the USA won silver in front of his home crowd, while the Philippines' EJ Obiena won an impressive bronze in a new Asian record of 5.94m.

"The whole day I was just caught up and focused on trying to win and trying to claim my first world outdoor title," said the world record holder in a press conference after the competition. "And really everything after that was just an afterthought, really it was just way in the back of my mind. So everything happened the way it did for me to win my first outdoor title."

Later, he spoke about the world record jump that seemed to soar centimetres clear of the bar.

“I didn’t touch it, I know that," he said. "I have no idea how high I went over it, but I just know going over it I was expecting myself to have to really work to get over the bar and when I was there and nothing’s touching it, I was like, ’man, that’s pretty dope.”

Silver medallist Nilsen spoke about how thrilled he was to medal at a stadium he calls home.

"I got a medal at my home stadium and I have been coming here for years so I actually knew it here well so to get a medal, it makes me really proud. You know, it is my home...

"Mondo is going to keep breaking records and I am just going to keep doing my thing. This medal means to me that I am very consistent in what I am doing - to be in the top three in the world."

Bronze medallist Obiena spoke about his pride at making the podium in a fierce competition at Hayward Field.

"This was something I really wanted but I do not know if I was expecting it," he said." I definitely did not expect that I would jump that high. And I would not think that it would actually take that high to win a medal. I think this is the highest World Championships final ever."

And when asked about the achievements of Duplantis, the Filipino was keen to stress that he sees it as a challenge to keep working hard at his sport.

"On one side, I am very happy that the sport is growing, but on the other side, I see there is a lot of work I need to do."

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