Armand Duplantis rises to the top (never better said).
The prodigy of the pole vault has broken the world record in pole vaulting at the age of 20. It was only one centimeter more than the one set by Renaud Lavillenie when he was about to celebrate the sixth anniversary of his feat. The Frenchman left it at 6.16. Since 1993, the famous 6.15 of the Ukrainian Serguei Bubka was not beaten, and it seemed that Lavillenie, in 2014, established a record that was considered impossible to surpass by the human being. But, two weeks before its sixth anniversary, Duplantis has shown that it was still within reach.
The surprising thing about the news is not the centimeter mark. It's the youth of its author.
Lavillenie established the mark with a career upon his shoulders starting in 2009. He, by that time, had already stored up gold medals in the European Indoor Championships and in the 2012 London Olympics and silver in the 2013 World Championships, in addition to the indoor record of 6.03, as the third-best mark of all time. By the time Lavillenie jumped 6.16, he was 28 years old.
Duplantis has not yet completed the first three months of his 20 years.
A few days ago, he almost made it. In Düsseldorf, he was close to glory. And to the stick. And that's why he ended up falling at the last moment. But in Torun, he has enjoyed something that not every human being can do: fly over success. He has taken risks without hesitation. With the Olympic Games just around the corner, Mondo (as he is known), has decided to go for it all. He began with 5.52 and until 6.01 he has been jumping without problems. And that's when it was clear to him. He asked for 6.17. He failed at first. But at the second attempt, he has become the child prodigy of athletics.
Duplantis has made history. And his career has only just begun.
Born in Louisiana (USA) in November 1999, he is the son of a Swedish heptathlete, whose nationality he competes with, and an American pole vaulter who has been training him since he was nine years old. Greg, who is his teacher's name, gave him a pole vault and, since that age, Mondo Duplantis did not stop flying over records.
He became known at the 2015 World Junior Championships. He won the gold medal in a 5.30 jump when he was still 15. And from then on, the child prodigy has not stopped flying. Literally.
At 18, he broke the youth record and saw gold again at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. This summer, he won silver at the World Cup in Doha. His neighbor and friend, Brennan Robideaux, is filming a documentary that is scheduled to be released before the Olympics. The film "Born To Fly" follows several years of the athlete's life, and tonight he filmed the record of the 'born to fly' jumper.
Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis has made history in the sport, surpassing his mentor, his referent, as he has explained in numerous interviews, and his friend, Renaud Lavillenie. He has broken the record, which was set at 6.17, and he has challenged any expert in the subject and shown that he is a human being who can actually flies.
It can be said that the student has beaten the teacher by one centimeter. And he has many years left to add up. And flying.