Armand Duplantis just clipped the bar on Sunday when he attempted to break the pole vault world record for a third straight weekend.
After jumping 6.01m to win the “All Star Perche” competition in Clermont, Duplantis had the bar raised to 6.19m.
The Swede had broken the old world record on February 8 with a jump of 6.17 metres in Poland. He then added a centimetre in Glasgow last Saturday. On Sunday, he tried to add another centimetre.
“Make some noise,” he asked some 5,000 spectators before setting off. He failed twice with a stiffer pole than he used to set his two records, before returning to the old one and narrowly failing.
“This winter I managed to improve a little bit everywhere, now the winter season is over for me, I couldn’t conclude it in a better way”, he said.
Duplantis, who is nicknamed ‘Mondo’, said he asked event host and former Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie for advice.
“He enlightened me on a few details.”
Lavillenie had held the world record of 6.16m since 2014 until Duplantis broke it two weeks ago.
On Sunday, the Frenchman cleared 5.94m, his best jump in almost two years. He said that early in the competition, struggling to get past 5.87m, he was worried that he would be humiliated.
“I gave ‘Mondo’ some advice but above all I was afraid of getting beaten by 30 cm. In the end, it was only 7 cm and frankly that feels good.”
Duplantis is just 20. Lavillenie is 13 years his senior.
“He’s only five years old!” joked the Frenchman. “But at the moment he’s the best in the world at pole vaulting.”
In the women’s competition, American Sandi Morris cleared 4.80m to win before failing at 4.93m.