The Olympic pole vault champion, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, brilliantly opened his 2023 season by clearing 6.10m on Thursday at the indoor meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, claiming to feel “close” to breaking his own record. of the world.
In front of his audience, “Mondo” Duplantis, 23, finally failed at the 6.22m mark, one centimeter better than his world record from last July.
“I’m proud of 6.10m, it’s a good start,” the Louisiana native told Swedish television SVT.
“I feel good. It was the first competition of the season, of course there are little things that I have to sort out,” he said.
As for the record of 6.22m, “I feel close, I can do it 100%. But it’s not that easy! I need to do a little better on the approaches,” he said. he assures.
After starting the test at 5.77 m passed very easily, Duplantis cleared the 6 meters on the second try, then 6.10 m on the third, by lightly touching the bar without dropping it.
In front of more than 2,000 spectators won over to his cause, he did not seem seriously able to tease the world record, passing three times under the bar without finishing his jump.
His father and trainer, Greg Duplantis, however judged that his son had what it took to beat his record in his first appearance of the season.
– Uncertain for Istanbul –
“I think he can, he has to have a good race,” explained the former pole vaulter at the edge of the track.
American KC Lightfoot took second place in the “Mondo Classic 2023” clearing 5.91m on the second try, while Filipino Ernest Obiena finished third with the same height but one more try.
Under the eyes of his compatriot Renaud Lavillenie, who came to attend the competition despite his injury package this season, the Frenchman Thibaut Collet finished 6th, with 5.67 m.
After Uppsala, Duplantis has currently planned to jump to Berlin next week, to Liévin (France) on February 15 and to Clermont-Ferrand (France) on February 25.
Named athlete of the year last year, he however confided on Wednesday that he had not decided for the next European Indoor Championships, in March in Istanbul.
For his last appearance in 2022, in the Diamond League final in Zürich in September, the Swede – who also has American nationality – had cleared 6.07m, after an unusual defeat in Brussels a few days earlier.
He had won the world indoor title (6.20m) in March in Belgrade and the world outdoor gold (6.21m) in July in Eugene, USA, each time beating his own world record. world.
Duplantis has held the latter since February 2020, and has already improved it four times since, becoming the new sensation of world athletics.