Mondo Duplantis: Olympic champ has laser focus on 2022 after eye surgery

A new year means new targets and the soaring Swede has had laser eye surgery to help focused on his latest ambitions. Winning a World Championship title, extending his world record, and just the small matter of becoming the greatest of all time are in his sights.

By Chloe Merrell
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

High flying, pole vaulting athletics star Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis is doing what it takes to prepare for the 2022 season.

Leaving no stone unturned, the 22-year-old Olympic gold medallist recently underwent laser surgery to help improve his eye sight.

Before the world record holder would rely on contact lenses to be able to see when competing. The alternative - no lenses - was completely unviable for the athlete. However, when the opportunity arose to fix his sight, the Swede didn't hesitate:

"It's not something I have chosen to speak about," Duplantis said to Aftonbaldet, "but my biggest fear has always been that there would be some trouble with the lenses in the middle of a competition. Especially in the big championships."

Post-surgery, Duplantis admits that already he can feel things are a lot better and with his focus now sharpened he can begin turning to the season that awaits him.

LISTEN: Mondo Duplantis on world records and Olympic targets

Mondo Duplantis: pole vaulter sets out goals for 2022

Up first for the Swedish vaulter will be the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe on 28 January, but the real test will follow a couple of weeks later in his home nation at the Beijer Pole Valut Gala in Uppsala. There he will face familiar rivals in two-time world champion Sam Kendricks, Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen, and KC Lightfoot.

On the agenda for 2022 will be adding to his list of titles and there's one crown in particular that has Duplantis talking:

"I've never won the World Championships, so that's my biggest goal for 2022," the Olympic champion said to World Athletics. "My training has gone well. I'm both stronger and faster. And I have not had any setbacks with injuries or illnesses."

The Worlds take place in Eugene, Oregon, USA, in July.

He won't stop there either. His own world record is also on the line:

"I will try for the world record every time I get the chance," Duplantis continued. "I'm in good shape, so it feels like it could come at any time.

"The goal is to win everything and then hopefully to do so in the future. I want to be greatest pole vaulter of all time - that's what gives me my motivation."


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