Armand Duplantis warned ‘this is just the beginning’ as he broke his own world record in the pole vault on Monday by clearing 6.19m on his third attempt at the indoor meeting in Belgrade.
“I feel like I can jump a lot higher than I jumped. I have a feeling this is just the beginning. I think there are a lot more barriers to getting into the 6.20s,” Duplantis told reporters at the track.
The record came in the arena where the World Indoor Championships kick off on March 18 with the men’s pole vault final on March 20.
The 22-year-old Swedish Olympic champion broke the world record in a nearly empty hall, and in a competition where he was the only high-ranking pole vaulter.
After easily covering 5.61m, 5.85m and then 6m, he passed 6.19m on his third attempt before rushing into his girlfriend’s arms at the edge of the track for a kiss. “I don’t usually practice at heights like this, but I was confident going there today.
“All I thought about from the start was the world record,” explains Duplantis.
“That was all I cared about today. If I didn’t break the world record, I’d be upset.”
Duplantis added: “I think I’ve tried the 6.19m 50 times.
“It’s been a long time. I’ve never had a height that bothered me so much, so it’s a really good feeling. There’s been some really hard fighting over the past two years. I’m very happy.”
He had already tried 6.19m this winter in Karlsruhe in Germany, Berlin, Uppsala in Sweden and in Birmingham, without success.
“From now on I will attack 6.20m even in two weeks,” he said, confident of his strength compared to the solid competition from American Chris Nilsen, who managed 6.05m in Rouen on Friday.
The Swede had held the record since February 2020, when he managed 6.17m in Torun in Poland and then 6.18m in Glasgow, one week apart.
Sometimes he seems to raise the record by one centimeter at a time, like the Soviet and Ukrainian great Sergey Bubka, who, during the time when indoor and outdoor were considered separate, broke the outdoor world record 17 times and set indoor records 18 times. between 1984 and 1994.
World Athletics has abolished the distinction between indoors and outdoors in the pole vault.
Duplantis, nicknamed “Mondo”, was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, but competes for Sweden through his mother, who trains him with his father.
He became European champion in Berlin in 2018 at the age of 18 and took the Olympic title in Tokyo last summer with a jump at 6.02m.
He will be the overwhelming favorite next week to claim one of two missing titles on his record, along with the World Outdoor title he could win in Eugene, Oregon, in July.