Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis set for major test in Lausanne Diamond League

The Swedish pole vaulter will lock horns with London 2012 Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie, and reigning world champion Sam Kendricks, who was unable to compete at Tokyo 2020 due to contracting coronavirus.

Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Mondo Duplantis didn’t need to wait long for his first major challenge as the newly-crowned Olympic pole vault champion.

Fresh from his victory at Tokyo 2020, the super Swede will lock horns with rival Sam Kendricks at the Lausanne Diamond League track and field athletics meet on Thursday (August 26).

Kendricks is a two-time world champion (having beaten Duplantis at the 2019 worlds in Doha), and athletics fans around the world were salivating at the prospect of a clash between the two at the Olympic Games.

However, it wasn’t to be after the American was ruled out competing in Tokyo after testing positive for COVID-19 in the Olympic village.

In Lausanne, the duo will line up against France’s London 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie and USA Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen in what is a star-studded field.

Mondo Duplantis: Skipping to 6.20m world record

Duplantis will have himself to beat in Lausanne, as well as the rest of the field.

The Louisiana-born athlete is the current world record holder with 6.18m, and has made no secret of his desire to better that.

The 21-year-old has a 6.10m season's best, and Kendricks’ presence could provide the extra motivation he needs to jump further than any man in history again.

“The goal is higher than that (6.19m),” Sweden's Duplantis told Reuters.

“I want to skip to 6.20. It sounds so good and I do not know where the limit goes for me." - Mondo Duplantis

"It was definitely the closest I've been," he said of the Tokyo Olympics, where he won with a jump of 6.02m before falling agonisingly short of clearing 6.19m.

“I have never had my feet and hips so high above the bar before. It was unfortunate that I did not succeed, but it gave a boost to self-confidence. I feel like I have even higher heights in me. I can skip 6.20 right now.”

It’s set to be a busy three years for Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis in the run up to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Outside of the Diamond League, the 2022 World Championships take place in Eugene, USA, next July, one month before the 2022 European Athletics Championships in Munich.