Swedish Armand Duplantis, world record holder in pole vault, finished his dominant Olympic cycle with the gold medal at the Tokyo Games, which he could not accompany with a new world record, although he was very close to beating it in the first and in the third attempts on 6.19.
A 6.02 mark gave the victory to the king of the pole, ahead of the American Christopher Nilsen, silver with 5.92, and the previous Olympic champion, the Brazilian Thiago Braz, who had to settle for the bronze (5.87).
Two years ago Mondo Duplantis won the silver medal at the 2019 Doha World Cup behind Sam Kendricks, the only one who has beaten him once this year, but the North American could not compete here after testing positive for covid.
After that Qatari defeat, the Swede has beaten the world record twice to 6.18.
During the confinement due to the pandemic, Duplantis did not stop shaking the roost, organizing telematic contests in which athletes jumped from the garden of his house.
He was born with a pole in his hand. He is the son of the American pertiguista Greg Duplantis, who taught him the secrets of the technique from a very young age.
Duplantis has exceeded 6 meters twenty-one times, including his last two competitions before the Games.
He had everything, therefore, to win his first global title as an adult in Tokyo. When Thiago Braz won the Olympic gold in Rio 2016 he was only 16 years old although he was already jumping five and a half meters.
The French Renaud Lavillenie, Mondo’s predecessor as world record holder (6.16) fell in the warm-up and appeared with a bandage on his right ankle and a face of circumstances that did not augur a happy contest. He delayed his debut at 5.70, which jumped to the first, but could not with 5.80.
The ribbon at this height, on which Duplantis reserved, selected the three medalists (Nilsen and Braz also skipped it). The next (5.92) discarded Braz, and the contest turned into an uneven heads-up between Mondo and Nilsen.
The two jumped to the first 5.97, but the American, who was already on a personal record, could not with the 6.02.
Duplantis did, and he was left alone with the bar at 6.19 trying to beat by one centimeter the world record he set with 6.18 on February 15, 2020 at the indoor track in Glasgow. On his first attempt he was suspended for a second before falling and on the third he was also very close.