Mondo Duplantis soars to pole vault gold medal

Posted at 7:09 AM, Aug 03, 2021


Lafayette, Louisiana-born Swede Armand "Mondo" Duplantis is in rarified air. 

He can win an Olympic gold medal and still be, if only for a fleeting moment, slightly disappointed with his performance.

The world record holder in the men's pole vault fell short — by the graze of his shirt — of topping his all-time mark of 6.18m (20 ft 3.3 in.) at the Tokyo Olympics with three missed attempts at 6.19, well after the medals were decided.

It took just 6.02m (19 ft 9.0 in.) to elevate Duplantis over silver medalist Christopher Nilsen of the United States, who set a personal best mark at 5.97m.

Brazil's Thiago Braz claimed bronze at 5.87m.

American Sam Kendricks, considered Duplantis' biggest challenger in the pole vault, was not involved in the competition after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.

Duplantis, 21, won Sweden's first-ever gold medal in the pole vault and the first medal of any color since Ragnar Lundberg in 1952.