Armand Duplantis continues to defy his years as he defeated reigning world outdoor champion Sam Kendricks for the first time in his nascent career on home soil at the IAAF Diamond League in Stockholm on Sunday (10).
Duplantis matched Kendricks with a first-time clearance at 5.81m but the reigning European U20 champion moved into pole position with a first-time clearance at 5.86m. Kendricks knocked the bar down on his first attempt at a prospective outdoor season’s best before forfeiting his remaining tries at the height.
Kendricks then had two attempts at 5.91m, which would have bettered his outdoor season’s best by seven centimetres, but the American had to concede defeat to the super-talented 18-year-old who has already set three world U20 records in 2018 and attempted another record height of 5.96m this afternoon.
“It's my first IAAF Diamond League victory and of course, I love it here - the crowd were fantastic and I really felt their support. I felt good and I found my rhythm well. Sam [Kendricks] kept me fired up, as well as the crowd and they took me to some high heights,” said Duplantis.
Armand Duplantis wins the pole vault on home soil in the Stockholm Diamond League with a 5.86m clearance, defeating a stellar field including four world outdoor champions!— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) June 10, 2018
World champion Sam Kendricks was second (5.81m) with European indoor champion Piotr Lisek third (5.76m).
Duplantis is eligible for the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland next month but the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships in August also looms large on his radar.
He also defeated many of his foremost rivals for medals, including reigning European indoor champion Piotr Lisek (third with 5.76m) as well as former world champions Pawel Wojciechowski (fourth on countback with 5.76m) and Raphael Holzdeppe (sixth with 5.66m).
“I knew I had a good chance to win and now I really want to be the last man standing in Berlin [at the European Championships in August]. Today has given me great confidence,” he said.
Lasitskene keeps her unbeaten streak intact
Mariya Lasitskene kept her unbeaten streak alive but the reigning world indoor and outdoor champion might not have things entirely her own way at the European Championships in Berlin later this summer.
Lasitskene made it 42 successive victories with a 2.00m clearance in Stockholm but she only won on countback from Bulgaria’s Olympic and European silver medallist Mirela Demireva who added three centimetres to her lifetime best.
Mariya Lasitskene only has one failure in her series all the way up to 2.00m.— IAAF (@iaaforg) June 10, 2018
Mirela Demireva joins her over 2.00m in her final attempt with a PB jump. The bar goes up to 2.02m.#StockholmDL pic.twitter.com/oUZgsKssBw
European indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen also won the long jump by the narrowest of margins from world-leader Malaika Mihambo from Germany. Ugen and Mihambo both hit the sand at 6.85m but Ugen then matched that distance in the fifth round to claim the first Diamond League win of her career. Serbia’s reigning European indoor and outdoor champion Ivana Spanovic was fourth with 6.81m.
“I came out trying to win and I knew I could get the big jumps in but because I was injured during the indoor season, I've been struggling to find my rhythm until today, luckily. It was a great competition and it was nice to be competitive amongst some good girls. I've been injury-free for a while so I'm feeling better on the runway,” said Ugen.
Got my first diamond league win in Stockholm with a jump of 6.85m! Praise the lord!— Lorraine Ugen (@loralski) June 10, 2018
World discus champion Andrius Gudzius couldn’t quite make it three wins in the space of four days but the Lithuanian extended his lifetime best to 69.59m to finish second to Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres, who usurped Gudzius from the top of the world lists with a national record and meeting record of 69.57m.