European champion clears sensational 6.17m at the Copernicus Cup meeting

Sweden’s Armand Duplantis soared into the history books yet again on Saturday evening as he cleared an incredible 6.17m to break the world pole vault record in Poland.

Just a few days after coming agonisingly close to achieving the feat in Düsseldorf, the 20-year-old world silver medallist gained the record he had been craving by adding one centimetre to the mark set by France’s Renaud Lavillenie in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2014.

Duplantis adds this record to his long list of best for age marks as well as the world under-20 record of 6.05m which he set when winning the European title in 2018.

As a result, he becomes one of just three athletes to currently hold both the under-20 and senior world records in their events, joining Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt (200m) and Ethiopia’s distance running great Tirunesh Dibaba (5000m).

“It’s something that I wanted since I was three years old,” said Duplantis, who set his first age group world best at just seven, when he cleared 2.33m.

“It’s a big year, but it’s a good way to start it.”

Duplantis had opened his competition at the Orlen Copernicus Cup meeting in Toruń by clearing 5.52m on his first attempt and had the contest won when he passed 5.62m but cleared 5.72m on his first try.

He then passed at 5.82m before first-time clearances at both 5.92m and 6.01m, which added a centimetre to his previous indoor best.

Asking for the bar to be raised to 6.17m, Duplantis was unsuccessful on his first attempt but then made his second try look easy. After soaring clear, he was first embraced by his fellow pole vaulters before finding his mum in the crowd to continue the celebrations.

His fellow Swedish vaulter Melker Jacobsson and USA’s Matt Ludwig were joint runners up after clearing 5.52m.

Duplantis next competes at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on February 15.

Also in Toruń, Britain’s 2018 world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi won the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.53 after a 7.58 heat, while the women’s race was won by Alina Talay in 7.87.

Ethiopia’s world medallist Gudaf Tsegay clocked 4:00.09 to win the 1500m, with that time moving her to seventh on the world indoor all-time list. Runner-up Lemlem Hailu ran 4:01.79 to break the world under-20 indoor record, which had been set by Tsegay (4:01.81) in 2016.

Slovakia’s European indoor champion Ján Volko claimed 60m victory in 6.58 as Britain’s Richard Kilty was third in 6.60. After turning to crowdfunding in 2018 in an attempt to raise money for surgery on an Achilles injury, 2014 European 100m champion James Dasaolu raced for the first time since 2017 and clocked 6.82 in the heats.

USA’s Shania Collins won the women’s race in 7.24 as Britain’s Kristal Awuah was sixth in 7.34.

Kenya’s Collins Kipruto ran a PB of 1:45.86 to win the 800m, while Poland’s Justyna Swiety-Ersetic won the 400m in 51.37 for a national indoor record and world lead.

Ukrainian world silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk improved to a world-leading PB of 6.96m to win the long jump, as Nigeria’s world bronze medallist Ese Brume was second with 6.62m and Britain’s world and European indoor medallist Lorraine Ugen was third with 6.52m.

Czech Republic’s world and European indoor medallist Tomas Stanek secured shot put success with a throw of 21.86m.

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