Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, world record holder in the pole vault with 6.20m cleared in March, jumped 6.02m to win the first meeting of the Diamond League in Doha (Qatar) on Saturday .
Initially scheduled for Friday evening in the Qatar Sports Club stadium, the event had been postponed due to the wind and was finally held indoors at the Aspire Dome.
Duplantis made his first jumps at 5.61m, 5.81m and 6.02m, before failing three times at 6.12m.
“It was a crazy day but I’m glad we were able to jump inside rather than outside, given the conditions yesterday, commented the Swede. My legs could have been lighter on the track but, outside From that, I feel like I had a good competition.”
Would the postponement have weighed on his performance? “Generally speaking, I feel in the best shape I’ve ever had, so it probably has something to do with that,” he replies.
The 22-year-old athlete beat American KC Lightfoot, Belgian Ben Broeders and American Olympic vice-champion Chistopher Nilsen (5.71m).
French brothers Valentin and Renaud Lavillenie finished 5th and 6th, at 5.71m and 5.61m respectively.
“A first indoor summer competition is atypical, had fun first. We saved the furniture by jumping inside because it was impossible yesterday. You have to be realistic.”
“On the other hand, I think that we all left feathers yesterday because we still did a real warm-up. Mentally, it was relatively hard because, the little we jumped, we were at 200% to get there,” he said. “So a little tired today but I’ve done three shows in my life in Doha and I’ve done three (5m) 70s, so I’ll be back!”
For Renaud Lavillenie, it’s “not as good as hoped”. “I’m quite frustrated because I was expecting to do at least (5m) 70, but I soon felt uncomfortable, not inspired by the bumper and all, and I had legs that didn’t really respond the way they should,” he explains.
Before putting into perspective “between the energy expenditure we had yesterday”, the premiere of the summer season which is “always a bit special” and “this room which (him) never succeeded”.
Olympic champion (2021), indoor world champion (2022) and outdoor European champion (2018) as well as indoors (2021), Duplantis will try this summer in Eugene, in the United States, to seize the gold medal at the Outdoor Worlds (July 15-24), the only one missing from his list.
The next meeting of the Diamond League is scheduled for Birmingham (UK) on May 21.