Male pole vaulter A. Duplantis, who was born in Louisiana in 1999, has been considered the favourite to win Olympic gold for a long time. Even the most devoted track and field fans probably didn’t see his meteoric ascension to world record holder coming.
A. Duplantis Career
A. Duplantis mother was a Swedish long jumper and his father was an American pole vaulter, but he chose to compete for Sweden.
He achieved the under-20 world record with a clearing of 5.90m in 2017, catching the eye of the legendary Sergey Bubka, just two years after he won the world under-18 title at the age of 15 and four months.
But after meeting Renaud Lavillenie in 2013, A. Duplantis realised that another man was the man he looked up to most.
“He had such a beautiful pole vaulting style. I suppose I always secretly aspired to jump like him, “In 2017, according to what A. Duplantis said. He spent a few days that winter in Clermont-Ferrand working out with the French Olympic gold medalist.
A. Duplantis Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Gold at the 2018 European Championships was the latest in a string of victories. He jumped 6.05 metres, making him the fifth-best pole vaulter in history. After one year at Louisiana State University, A. Duplantis decided to focus on his developing professional athletic career rather than continue his education.
The following year, in 2019, the Swede competed at the World Championships in Doha and lost a close match to the American Sam Kendricks, ultimately taking silver. The world and A. Duplantis competitors were unprepared for what happened in early 2020.
A. Duplantis had just started his season on the World Athletics Indoor Tour when the worldwide epidemic forced the cancellation of all contests. A. Duplantis was in brilliant form in Poland, the second stop on the circuit after he almost missed out on winning the season opener in Germany.
He successfully vaulted over three shorter heights but barely cleared 6.17m on his first try. His second attempt, however, was successful, and he is now considered the best male pole vaulter instead of his friend and hero Lavillenie. Later that same week, he increased it by another centimetre, prompting more parallels to Bubka, who had already broken the record 17 times.
At the time, in 2017, A. Duplantis stated with assurance: “The current objective, in terms of the (Tokyo) Olympics, would be to take home the gold medal. Sure, why not?” Today, monetary success is not the main objective. It’s fair to wonder how far A. Duplantis can go now.