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Report01 Apr 2017

Duplantis breaks world U20 pole vault record at Texas Relays


Armand Duplantis in the pole vault at the Texas Relays (© Kirby Lee)

Swedish teenager Armand Duplantis broke his own world U20 pole vault record* with a clearance of 5.90m at the Texas Relays in Austin on Saturday (1).

The 17-year-old started his series with first-time clearances at 5.35m, 5.50m and 5.65m. It was at that latter height that world champion Shawn Barber exited the competition, leaving the world U18 champion as the only athlete in the field.

Duplantis skipped 5.75m and then got over 5.80m on his second try to equal the best ever outdoor vault by an U20 athlete.

But he wasn’t quite finished.

He passed the next height on the scorecard and had the bar set to 5.90m. After two misses, he got over it on his third try to set an outright world U20 record, adding eight centimetres to the mark he set in March.

Not only was his performance a world-leading mark, it also broke the Swedish senior record of 5.87m set by Oscar Janson in 2003.

One of the other top performances of the competition came in the men’s javelin.

Greece’s Ioannis Kiriazis, a student at Texas A&M University, unleashed a world-leading 88.01m in the opening round before passing his remaining attempts. It added almost a metre to the 21-year-old’s PB.

Victor breaks US collegiate decathlon record

Grenada’s Lindon Victor broke the US collegiate decathlon record by seven points with a score of 8472 on the opening two days of the Texas Relays.

“Breaking a collegiate record is hard,” said an exhausted but jubilant Victor after finishing the 1500m in 4:48.89. Anything slower than 4:50.02 would have missed the record.

The previous collegiate record of 8465 was set by two-time world champion Trey Hardee at the 2006 Texas Relays.

“I think if everything had gone to plan today, I wouldn’t have run the 1500m like this,” said the Texas A&M student. “I’m in better shape than I was last year, but I haven’t run a 1500m since the Olympics. Going into the 10th event I was a little bit tired. I wasn’t taking in any food or any fluids this morning, so that’s something I’ll have to work on for the next one.

“If I’m to be honest, I didn’t like the score because I think I was on pace to do something really good. But, you know, that’s the multi. I’m just learning from my first one of this season and trying to get better.”

Victor opened his series with the fastest 100m performance of the field. His 10.63 clocking was his second-fastest time ever in the decathlon. He followed it with a lifetime best of 7.37m in the long jump, an outdoor PB of 16.52m in the shot put, a high jump PB of 2.09m and a lifetime best of 48.24 in the 400m.

He ended the first day with a score of 4516, the best day-one tally in US collegiate history.

Victor started the second day of the decathlon with 14.94 in the 110m hurdles. In the discus, a pair of fouls preceded a final attempt that reached 53.00m.

“Practice has been going really good in discus, believe it or not,” said Victor, who is the younger brother of Commonwealth decathlon bronze medallist Kurt Felix. “I think I was trying to throw it too hard. My coach said ‘I trust you’ on the last throw. I went out there with a lot of confidence.”

Victor’s chances of breaking the record took a serious dent in the pole vault as he went no higher than his opening height of 4.30m, some 46 centimetres of the PB he set indoors earlier this month.

But a final-round throw of 66.69m in the javelin put him back on record pace, giving him a target time of 4:50.02 for the last event, the 1500m. His run of 4:48.89 brought his tally to 8472, adding 26 points to his own national record.

“I don’t think my record will last as long as Trey’s did,” said Victor. “I think it will only last a few months, until I do my next one.”

Jon Mulkeen and organisers for the IAAF

*Subject to the usual ratification procedures

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