Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis (© AFP / Getty Images)
Mondo Duplantis, it seems, can’t catch a break. In three of his four most recent competitions, he has had to contend with low temperatures or heavy rain. Or – as was the case at the World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting in Karlstad on Tuesday (22) – both.
The conditions were similar to those he experienced at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Gateshead last month where, after 23 competitions, his winning streak came to an end. On that occasion he cleared a best of 5.55m and had a narrow failure at 5.80m.
Two weeks later in Hengelo, however, and competing in much kinder conditions, Duplantis was able to give a much truer reflection of the form he was in by clearing 6.10m – the second-best outdoor vault in the world in the past 26 years, bettered only by his own 6.15m clearance from Rome last year.
On Tuesday night, competing on home soil in Karlstad, Duplantis once again had to vault in far-from-ideal conditions – though, judging by his score card, you wouldn’t have been able to tell.
He popped over his opening height of 5.50m on his second try, then passed straight to 5.70m, which he cleared on his first attempt. World bronze medallist Piotr Lisek, who had needed all three tries to get over 5.50m, failed twice at 5.70m and once at 5.80m to exit the competition.
Duplantis, meanwhile, raised the bar to 6.00m. After one miss, he had another try and, despite giving the bar a little nudge, it stayed on.
“These are by far the worst conditions I've ever jumped six metres in,” said Duplantis. “I feel really strong on the runway, mentally, and today really showed that. We’re going to see something special very soon.”
World discus champion Daniel Stahl was similarly dominant in the discus.
He landed two throws beyond 67 metres, topped by a best of 67.64m, and backed those up with throws of 66.48m and 65.18m – all of which would have been sufficient to win.
Domestic rival Simon Pettersson was second with 63.61m.
With the conditions making it particularly challenging for sprinters and horizontal jumpers, most of the other highlights came in the throws.
India’s Neeraj Chopra won the men’s javelin with 80.96m, while Swedish record-holder Fanny Roos won the women’s shot with 18.75m.
The best track performance came from Danish record-holder Kojo Musah, who clocked 10.25 (1.3m/s) to win the men’s 100m from Henrik Larsson (10.29). Although some way off his season’s best, Mark English produced a convincing run in the men’s 800m, winning in 1:46.50.
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics