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After a rare defeat during the Lausanne Diamond League meet on Thursday, Armand Duplantis came back in Paris on Saturday to his dominating ways. Everything is normal in the universe again. He won Paris with a 6.01m vault.
In Charlety Stadium, he cleared five of six heights on his first attempt. Ernest Obiena of the Philippines tried to make a game of it, and briefly overtook the Swedish-American at 5.91m, however, Duplantis began clearling heights again raising the bar to 5.96, then his winning 6.01m performance. Obiena set a new Philippines national record with his 5.91m performance.
“I felt good. I felt like it was really important for me to come back and try to get into the victory mode again, to try to get over six metres, especially after the competition in Lausanne,” said Duplantis.
The 21-year-old cleared 6.02m in Tokyo to take his first Olympic gold medal on Aug. 3. His best performance all-time is 6.18m from Glasgow last year, which is the world record. For the curious, the American record stands at 6.06m by Sam Kendricks from the 2019 USA Championships.
At age 19, Duplantis earned a silver medal during the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships with a 5.97m clearing. It is a harbinger of things to come. Duplantis also happens to be a fast sprinter for a field events specialist. His 100m best is 10.57 wind-aided and 10.69 legal from when he was just 18 years of age. His long-jump is a respectable 7.15m from 2017 when he was just 17.
Duplantis comes from an athletic family. His father, an American, vaulted to a best of 5.80m, while his Swedish mother was a volleyball player and heptathlete. His siblings are also very competitive in sport. Armand Duplantis was practicing pole vault as early as three and was taking national age records as early as age 6 and world age records just a few years later.