Mondo breaks two world records with assistance from Mondo

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The sporting headlines around the world have been captured in the last 10 days by the feats of Armand Duplantis.

Still only 20, the 2018 European champion – widely known by his childhood nickname Mondo – has taken more than just the athletics world by storm by breaking the pole vault world record on consecutive Saturdays, first leaping 6.17m in the Polish town of Torun on 8 February and then a week later soaring to an amazing 6.18m on his first attempt at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.

By coincidence, both world records by the Swede were in stadia with surfaces provided by the European Athletics Green Inspiration Partner Mondo.

Torun’s Hala Sportowo - Widowiskowa – the host venue for the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships – having had its Sportflex Super X track installed in 2014, two years after Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, Torun's predecessor as host for the European Athletics Championships, acquired its Mondotrack surface.

However, if Duplantis’ feats were extraordinary, pole vault world records on Mondo tracks seem to have become the norm in the last four decades with the Swede’s marks becoming the 42nd and 43rd world records or world best, indoors or outdoors, to be set on a Mondo surface.

The streak started back on 1 February 1982 when Sergey Bubka cleared 5.82m in Milan and the prolific Ukrainian set 13 more of his world records or world bests on Mondo tracks over more than 12 years, culminating in his world outdoor record of 6.14m in Sestriere, Italy in July 1994.

The Donetsk Sports Hall where Bubka had leapt even higher the previous year, when he cleared 6.15m for a world indoor record, was also a Mondo track and in 2014 the audience there had the privilege of witnessing Bubka’s historic standards consigned to history when France's Renaud Lavillenie cleared 6.16m in the same facility – coincidentally at a meeting organised by Bubka – which stood as the world record for almost six years prior to Duplantis’ feats in the last few weeks.

A plethora of women’s world records have also fallen in stadia with Mondo surfaces, particularly indoors.

The mid-1990s, after the event started to gain popularity, was a prolific time for raising the bar with Czech Republic’s Daniela Bartova and China’s Caiyun Sun between then making five increases in various venues to the world indoor record across barely a month during January and February of 1996.

With American superstar Stacy Dragila clearing a world indoor record of 4.40m at the 1997 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Paris and then Ukraine’s Anzhela Balakhonova going over 4.45m at the following year’s European Athletics Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain, the event entered a new era.

From that point the women’s pole vault was on a rapid upwards trajectory for the next 15 years, both indoors and out.

Among the many notable performances, Russia’s Svetlana Feofanova cleared six of her 10 world indoor records between 2001 and 2003 in stadia with Mondo surfaces, including going over 4.75m to take gold at the 2002 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Vienna and then 4.80m to win at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham the following year.

The last two women’s world indoor records also came on Mondo surfaces with the Russian great Yelena Isinbayeva clearing 5.01m in Stockholm eight years ago and then USA’s Jenn Suhr taking that accolade from her when she cleared 5.02m on home soil in Albuquerque in 2013.

Pole vault fans are now looking eagerly to see what will be the next great achievement in their favoured discipline , either by Mondo or on Mondo.

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