“Witness the Wonder” is the slogan of this year’s World Athletics Championships. But the question everyone is asking: “Will Armand Duplantis be able to jump a new world record in Budapest?” No doubt, he has every chance to write history in the men’s pole vault final on Saturday.
At the age of 18 he already won his first senior European Championship gold medal with an under-20 world record in Berlin and was voted as Male Rising Star of the Year. Only two years passed before his first world record (6.18 m) which until now has been followed by four others – going from centimetre to centimetre – just as Sergey Bubka did back in the days.
With a jump of 6.22 metres this year Mondo is clearly the biggest favourite in Budapest as shown in Wednesday morning’s session which had the stadium almost full. Nearly 20,000 people came out to see the Swedish star compete in the qualification.
As for Saturday’s final all tickets were sold out more than one month before the start of the championships. For most people this is the only chance to watch him jump. And he has not let the fans down. In the boiling heat he enjoyed first time clearances at 5.55, 5.70 and 5.75 metres to easily qualify for the final.
“At the beginning of the day, of course, the body has to warm up, so that was good. I didn’t waste much energy during the qualifying. Everything went the way I wanted it to,” said Duplantis.
And about a potential new world record he added: “Anything can happen in the final and with the record. It’s just up to me, I have to put together the right jump at the right time. I’m in good shape, my technique feels good, so I think I’m all set to have an excellent jump on Saturday.”
We can be sure that 35,000 people will cheer for him in the stadium on Saturday night. And probably millions in front of the TV.
Credit: AIPS Media