After breaking the world pole vault record twice during the indoor season, Armand Duplantis achieved the highest vault in history outdoors in the Rome Diamond League with a 6.15m clearance on Thursday (17) evening.
It was only a matter of time before the incredible 20-year-old would surpass Sergey Bubka’s world outdoor best of 6.14m and the European champion, who is still only in his second season as a senior, eclipsed Bubka’s long-standing mark by one centimetre.
“It started off as a weird competition for me - I took a couple of good jumps, a couple of really bad jumps - but when it came down to it, I connected on some really good runs and I was able to get over that outdoor record,” said Duplantis.
Duplantis needed two attempts at 5.85m but normal service was resumed with a first-time clearance at 6.00m to break Bubka’s meeting record of 5.94m. For the fifth successive competition, Duplantis asked the officials to raise the bar to 6.15m and after dislodging the crossbar with his chest on the first attempt, Duplantis sailed clear on the second time of asking.
Duplantis looked capable of surpassed Bubka’s outdoor mark in the street meeting in Lausanne earlier this month before bad light halted proceedings after the Swede slingshotted himself over an outdoor lifetime best of 6.07m and blustery conditions forced Duplantis to bail out of his three attempts at 6.15m at the ISTAF in Berlin on Sunday.
But despite admitting earlier in the season that he was struggling to compete at the higher heights without an audience present, Duplantis cleared 6.15m in a virtually deserted Olympic Stadium in Rome with only his fellow competitors for support. The organisers were hoping to admit 5000 fans into the arena but the event took place behind closed doors due to health and safety.
Duplantis has now cleared 6.00m or higher in ten competitions indoors and outdoors this year, racking up three of the four highest vaults in history with 6.15m in Rome and world records of 6.17m in Torun and 6.18m in Glasgow. The Swede will close his season in the Doha Diamond League next Friday.
Ingebrigtsen smashes European U23 record, Warholm smashes meeting record with 47.07
Contesting his first significant outdoor 3000m of his career, Jakob Ingebrigtsen only just missed the long-standing European record of 7:26.62 but his time of 7:27.05 slashed more than 10 seconds off the previous European U23 record.
Ingebrigtsen led into the last lap and continued to accelerate but the double European champion was outpaced in the home straight by his fellow 19-year-old namesake Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda who set a Diamond League record of 7:26.64.
“Today was all about breaking the 7:30 barrier, so I am really happy with the result. I know that if I continue for one more year with this distance, I know I can run the 3K even faster,” said Ingebrigtsen who had never broken the eight minute-barrier outdoors prior to tonight.
Ingebrigtsen notched up yet another national record in the process while Yemaneberhan Crippa added the Italian 3000m record to his national 5000m and 10,000m records. Crippa finished fourth in 7:38.27 to improve the previous record which stood to Gennaro Di Napoli at 7:39.54.
By contrast Karsten Warholm stormed to yet another solo and unopposed victory in the 400m hurdles. The reigning world and European champion was rewarded with a meeting record of 47.07 which means the Norwegian now owns four of the top ten fastest times in history in the event.
“This season has been a good experience for me,” said Warholm. “It is good fun for me coming here to Rome with the warm weather and no winds – unlike back home in Norway where it is cold now and rainy. The world record? I am quite used to talking about it and I love it because it shows that I am in the right place, that I am close.”
Femke Bol from the Netherlands has been similarly dominant in the women’s 400m hurdles this year. The 20-year-old European U20 champion is unbeaten outdoors and she chalked up the second fastest time of her career - and the second fastest time in the world in 2020 - stopping the clock at 53.90. Bol now holds the four fastest times in the world this year.
For the first time this season, three women broke the 55 second-barrier in the same race with Ukrainians Anna Ryzhykova and Viktoriya Tkachuk moving to second and third respectively on the 2020 world list with 54.54 and 54.93.
Bol's teammate and training partner Lieke Klaver also capped her breakthrough season with victory in the women's 400m in a lifetime best of 50.98 to become only the third athlete to break the 51 second-barrier this year. Klaver currently leads the 2020 European list at 200m (22.66) and 400m (50.98) and she moves with 0.21 of Lisanne de Witte's national record.
European indoor champion Nadine Visser added to the Dutch success in the Italian capital with another victory in the 100m hurdles in 12.72.
There were also two wins apiece for the Brits and the Ukrainians in Rome. Andrew Pozzi just missed his lifetime best in the 110m hurdles in 13.15 and Jemma Reekie returned to winning form in the 800m in 1:59.76 ahead of world leader Hedda Hynne from Norway (2:00.24) and Laura Muir (2:00.49).
Yuliya Levchenko cleared 1.98m in the high jump to defeat her compatriot Yaroslava Mahuchikh by one clear height and veteran Andriy Protsenko, the fourth-placer at the 2016 Olympics, matched his season's best of 2.30m to defeat European indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi who cleared 2.27m in the men's high jump.