Published: 09:41, April 21, 2024
Armand Duplantis soars to new world record in Xiamen Diamond League
By Xinhua
Armand Duplantis of Sweden poses with his new world record after men's pole vault event at the 2024 Wanda Diamond League Xiamen Meeting in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, April 20, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

XIAMEN - Pole vault sensation Armand Duplantis expressed his belief that he has yet to reach his peak after clearing the 6.24-meter mark to establish a new world record at the Diamond League season opener in Xiamen.

"I think we have higher jumps in the body," remarked the Swedish athlete following his eighth world record-breaking performance.

Duplantis opted to bypass the initial height of 5.42m, effortlessly starting his campaign with a clearance at 5.62m. Subsequently, he smoothly sailed over 5.82m and 6.00m with just one attempt each. When the sole remaining title contender, America's Sam Kendricks, failed his third attempt at 6.00 meters, Duplantis decided to raise the bar further.

The atmosphere at the Egret Stadium reached its zenith during the 24-year-old's run-up, and applause reverberated long after he successfully negotiated a pristine bar at 6.24 meters, a new world record surpassing his own record set last September.

"I went into the competition with high expectations, and I knew that I could jump high, but there are so many things that have to be perfect and come together in the right way for that to actually happen," said Duplantis, who said he hadn't formulated a "hard plan" prior to his maiden visit to China.

"Everything fell into place for me, and I'm honestly very excited about that," Duplantis enthused, crediting the "amazing track, great weather, and energetic crowds" for setting the stage for his world record.

Duplantis underscored the significance of the fans' support in the stadium, describing it as "spaceship-like". In one interview, he disclosed that he rarely achieved exceptional results in training sessions lacking the fervor of audience participation.

"I need the energy from the crowd, and it was a great atmosphere here today," noted Duplantis. "I can really feel it down the runway, and it gave me the energy boost that I needed."

Maintaining his impressive form from last season's Diamond League final victory in Eugene and the gold at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow in early March, questions now arise about Duplantis' next world record-breaking endeavor. However, the Swede preferred to "enjoy the moment and focus on the next thing."

"I'm going to continue to stay on the path that I'm on right now, making sure that everything's in the right place for [the 2024] Paris [Olympic Games]," he remarked. "Just enjoy the moment. I don't want to take anything for granted as an athlete, because as an athlete, you're always so focused on the next thing," added Duplantis, who said he now planned to indulge in local desserts with his brother.

Confirming his intention to compete at the Diamond League event in Suzhou a week from now, Duplantis affirmed that this visit to China would "definitely not be the last time."