Mondo "super excited" for Roma 2024

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  • Mondo "super excited" for Roma 2024

Olympic, World, World Indoor, European and European Indoor champion Armand Duplantis has already had an incredible career, with more glory in the offing for the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships (7-12 June) and the Paris Olympics this summer.

As well as his golden run, it is Mondo's world record exploits that have really captured the public’s imagination. On eight occasions he has taken the men’s pole vault to new heights. His clearance of 6.24m in Xiamen, China in April this year being his latest update to the record books.

And he is still aged only 24.

His rise through the ranks of international athletics has been as steep as the six metre bar he routinely clears. But it was at the European Athletics Championships where his superstar status in the sport first took hold.

Life changing competition

The US-born Swede was a prodigiously talented 18-year-old with aspirations to clear six metres when he lined up in Berlin 2018. A staggering series later and the teenager was the joint fourth highest pole vaulter of all-time, the world U20 record holder and gold medallist with 6.05m.

Speaking on European Athletics’ new podcast series Ignite, the effusive Swede says: “It was surreal. I can still remember every literal moment to this day. Definitely the most life-changing and career-changing competition that I have ever had, was in Berlin.”

It was a landmark competition and saw a changing of the guard for the event with Olympic gold medallist, three-times European gold medallist and then-world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France relegated to bronze.

“I knew that I was capable of going in there and being able to fight for the gold,” he recalls. “But being able to jump six metres for the first time, jumping that 6.05 bar in such an insanely intense competitive competition, also where everybody was jumping at such a crazy high level, and I was just only aged 18 years old at the time, which was pretty wild to think about. 

“To me, it solidified in my mind that I can hang with anybody in the world. It was my first senior medal and senior gold medal at that.”

Good vibes for Roma 2024

Six years on and the imperious Mondo has become of the icons of the sport. He has plundered Olympic gold in Tokyo, two World Championship golds, defended his European title in Munich 2022, two World Indoor golds, one European Indoor gold and after first seizing Lavillenie’s world record in 2020 with 6.17m, he has continued to take the record ever higher.

Expectation inevitably follows him across the global athletics circuit, but he retains his exuberance for the sport and the big occasions like Roma 2024.

“I’m super excited for Rome,” he says. “The Olympic Stadium in Rome is one I have already jumped very high at with that 6.15 in 2020.” A mark that - at the time – that was the highest clearance outdoors ever. 

“I think that just kind of makes the excitement even more, because I know it’s a really good place to jump. I love warm weather. I love jumping in warm weather. I think that’s going to help me even more too. 

“Also it’s just Rome, which is a sick city. It’s going to be good vibes all around. It’s Euros, so it’s going to be a big competition for us and one that you want to mark on your calendar that you want to jump extra good at. Anytime that I’m representing Sweden (I) want to make sure I come home with the gold. I’ll be making sure I’m primed and ready for it.”

Roma 2024 is sure to be a championship of huge highs, but few a likely to go higher than the dynamic Duplantis.

Chris Broadbent for European Athletics

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