Lafayette’s Mondo Duplantis Wins Gold in Pole Vault at Tokyo Olympic Games
Armand "Mondo" Duplantis has won gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
The pole vaulter from Lafayette cleared 6.02 meters on his first attempt, and that turned out to be good enough to secure the top spot.
Duplantis was one of 14 men to advance to Tuesday's finals after clearing 5.75 in the qualification round.
To open the finals round, Duplantis cleared 5.8 meters, a height that only seven vaulters, or half of the finals field, made.
He would pass on an attempt at 5.87 meters while two other competitors cleared that mark -- American Christopher Nilsen and Brazil's Thiago Braz (the defending gold medalist).
That left four vying for medals: Duplantis, Nilsen, Braz and France's Renaud Lavillenie, a former world champion who missed at 5.87 meters and then later passed at that height.
Duplantis then cleared 5.92 meters with room to spare.
Lavillenie missed twice at 5.92 meters, eliminating him from medal contention. Braz could not clear 5.92 either and won the bronze based on his 5.87 vault.
Nilsen, a three-time NCAA champion at South Dakota, cleared his second attempt of 5.92. He then cleared a personal-best 5.97. However, Duplantis answered by making 5.97 on his first try, sending both to 6.02 meters.
Nilsen missed on three total attempts at 6.02 while Duplantis nailed it, clinching gold and leaving Nilsen to take silver.
Duplantis did try to set the world record after he secured the win by attempting 6.19 meters, however, he was unsuccessful after two attempts.
Duplantis is the world record holder in the pole vault with a mark of 6.18 meters, or 20 feet 3 1/4 inches, which was set in February 2020 in Glasgow, UK. (This mark was sent indoors.)