Sweden’s Duplantis soars to Olympic pole vault gold
TOKYO—World record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden won the Olympic men’s pole vault gold medal on Tuesday, soaring over 6.02 meters on his first attempt at that height.
The 21-year-old Duplantis, who finished with a silver medal behind world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States in 2019, remained the only man to fly over six meters this year.
Double world champion Kendricks was not in Tokyo to challenge him after missing the Games following a positive test for the novel coronavirus.
Duplantis first grabbed the limelight when he twice bettered the world record of 6.16m with clearances of 6.17m and 6.18m in February last year on the World Indoor Tour.
Having sealed his gold medal on a warm and humid night in Tokyo, Duplantis decided to go for another world record attempt at 6.19m, forcing the few hundred spectators at the Olympic Stadium to stay in their seats.
On his first attempt he went over but his chest caught the bar on the way down. Duplantis tried twice more but it was not to be.
American Chris Nilsen cleared the bar at 5.97 with his first attempt at the height but could not match Duplantis’s 6.02 effort and picked up the silver medal.
Brazil’s Thiago Braz, who won the title at his home Olympics in Rio de Janeiro five years ago, took bronze with his effort of 5.87.