Mondo Duplantis relishing competing against 'myself' | Inquirer Sports

Mondo Duplantis relishing competing against ‘myself’

/ 10:16 AM June 27, 2023

Armand "Mondo" Duplantis

Sweden’s pole vaulter Armand Duplantis (“Mondo” Duplantis) addresses a press conference in Ostrava, Czech Republic on June 26, 2023, on the eve of the IAAF 61st Golden Spike 2023 Athletics Meeting on June 27. (Photo by Michal Cizek / AFP)

Pole vault star Armand Duplantis said Monday he was competing with himself rather than the rest of the field as he relished his record start into the season.

Duplantis set a new world record of 6.22 meters indoors in Clermont-Ferrand in February before clearing the bar at a world-leading 6.11m outdoors this month.

“I’m in the place where I want to be and I’ve liked the start so far,” the reigning Olympic and world champion said ahead of Tuesday’s Golden Spike meet in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava.

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“I’m in a good shape, I’m fast, I’m strong, I’m pretty much technically… where I want to be right now,” said Duplantis, who will seek to defend his world championship win in Budapest in August.

His 6.22m indoors beats Renaud Lavillenie’s record by six centimeters, while his 6.21m outdoors is well ahead of the 6.14m jumped by Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka in 1994.

But waving aside his status as the runaway leader across all statistics, Duplantis said the nature of the sport made him compete largely with himself anyway.

ult world record (6.22m) during the men's pole vault event at the International indoor athletics meeting All Star Perche at the Sports House, in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, on February 25, 2023.

Swedish athlete Armand Duplantis poses for a photograph as he celebrates after setting a new pole vault world record (6.22m) during the men’s pole vault event at the International indoor athletics meeting All Star Perche at the Sports House, in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, on February 25, 2023. (Photo by ARNAUD FINISTRE / AFP)

“It’s not the competition where you really play against each other,” said the 23-year-old US-born Swedish athlete.

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“You have to go up there and jump high and clear whatever the bar may be. It’s a competition within myself.”

“That’s how it was even before I was the best in the world, because that’s the approach to every competition. Whatever the person besides you does, it doesn’t matter,” Duplantis added.

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He said keeping calm was a crucial part of his approach.

“At the end of the day it’s just pole vault. I try not to over calculate,” he said.

“I try not to worry about anything, it’s me and the bar, and it’s just a competition between me and the bar.

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“The only competition against other people is basically just on the scorecard. The only thing I can control is myself.”

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