Sweden’s Armand Duplantis broke his own men’s pole vault world record on Monday, soaring 6.19 metres on his third attempt at the Belgrade Indoor Meeting in a performance he could only describe as “perfection”.
The 22-year-old improved the previous record by one centimetre.
Duplantis had already secured the victory in Belgrade before he made the record-breaking leap, nudging the bar with his knee slightly but nevertheless clearing it before jumping off the mat and pumping his fists in celebration.
“A height like 6.19 — it demands perfection,” said Duplantis. “All the numbers have to be right. So I just figured it out on that last attempt and I was able to get over it finally.”
Competing in the same arena which will host the World Athletics Indoor Championships at the end of next week, Duplantis had first-time clearances at 5.61m, 5.85m and 6.00m before raising the bar to the new record height.
He failed with his first two attempts but finally made it at the third time of asking despite moving the bar with his knees.
Duplantis now owns the three highest marks in the discipline. He broke Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie’s 6.16m world mark with a clearance of 6.17m in February 2020 and then eclipsed that record just a week later by another centimetre.
The Olympic and 2018 European pole vault champion will now be eager to complete his set of gold medals at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July.
He had made several attempts to clear 6.19m previously, including at the Tokyo Games in August, and said he might have tried as many as 50 times.
“I think I’ve tried 6.19m 50 times, I think that was the number. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve never had a height quite give me the trouble like that in my entire life and I’ve been jumping for a very long time, so it’s a very good feeling. It was really hard fought these past two years to get over that next barrier and so I’m really happy.
“I don’t think this is the highest I’m ever going to jump. There’s going to be a lot more to come. This is a really good place to jump.
“World Championships in two weeks is going to be an even better time to try to put something else higher up there. So I’m excited about that. I’m excited to come back to Belgrade.”