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Unstoppable Duplantis breaks World record for 8th time!

April 20, 2024 20:58 IST

IMAGE: Armand Duplantis broke his own pole vault world record with a 6.24 metres effort in the first Diamond League meeting in Xiamen, China. Photographs: Tingshu Wang/Reuters

Armand Duplantis put down a marker ahead of this year's Paris Olympics as the Swede broke his own pole vault world record with a 6.24 metres effort in the first Diamond League meeting of the 2024 season on Saturday.


Duplantis bettered his previous mark of 6.23 metres set at the Eugene Diamond League finale in September, clearing the bar with ease before leaping up off the sponge mat below and racing off in celebration at his first outdoor event of the year.

It was the eighth time that Duplantis broke the world record and the 24-year-old, who was the only man to clear six metres at the Egret Stadium, said he could do even better.

"It's definitely possible, conditions willing. I'm going to try to maximise the most out of every day," Duplantis said.

"There's definitely more to give. I don't think the jumping was really perfect today even leading up to the 6.24. The 6.24 felt really nice.

"I think there's still some way to go and still more to push and some higher heights in me for sure."

The Olympic and two-time world outdoor champion had added a second world indoor title to his impressive resume in March, and he is set to head into his second Games in July and August as the firm favourite.

American Sam Hendricks, who was second with a best effort of 5.82m, heaped praise on the Louisiana-born Duplantis.

"He's got God's hand on his back," Hendricks said. "I've been a champion before. 'Mondo' has been my vice-champion. I've seen him from (when he was) a 14-year-old come all the way up.

"I'm ever joyous to be second behind a world record-holder. I know he works so hard. He goes all over the place and he's becoming the true champion we all want him to be."

In the women's 200m Australian Torrie Lewis enjoyed a stunning Diamond League debut, as the 19-year-old beat a strong field of American rivals that included Sha'Carri Richardson to claim gold with an effort of 22.96 from lane nine.

Richardson, winner of the 200m bronze at last year's world championships, finished second in 22.99 ahead of her compatriots Tamara Clark, Anavia Battle and Twanisha Terry.

World champion Marileidy Paulino earlier captured the first track gold of the Diamond League season in the women's 400m as the Dominican eased home in 50.08 seconds ahead of Natalia Kaczmarek (50.29) and Britton Wilson (51.26).

Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn then set the pace in the women's 100m hurdles, the Puerto Rican cruising to victory in 12.45 seconds.

"I'm real glad I got this race out of the way. I was telling my coach earlier 'I don't think I'm ready, I don't know what I'm about to bring' and then 12.45 knowing it wasn't even a clean race from myself," Camacho-Quinn said.

"I'm ready to go back and fix what I need to do. I've got things to do this year."

Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, the world-record holder in the event, only managed fifth place in 12.58 seconds.

In the men's 100m event Christian Coleman began his Diamond League title defence with a solid sprint of 10.13 seconds to beat fellow American Fred Kerley who came in at 10.17.

Gudaf Tsegay won the women's 1500m in 3:50.30 - the third-fastest time ever behind Kenyan Faith Kipyegon's world record 3:49.11 and Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba's 3:50.07.

"This was a big surprise because it's my first outdoor meeting of the season," Tsegay said.

The Diamond League resumes next week with the Shanghai meeting, which returns to the calendar this year with a change of location to the neighbouring city of Suzhou due to a stadium renovation.

This year's calendar features 15 meetings, including 10 ahead of the July 26-Aug. 11 Olympics, with the season finale in Brussels on September 13-14.

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