To conclude a season in which he turned heads in track and field at home and abroad, 17-year-old Lafayette native Armand “Mondo” Duplantis finished ninth in the pole vault final at the IAAF world championships Tuesday in London.
Duplantis, who in April set the world junior record with a clearance of 19 feet, 4¼ inches and Sunday became the youngest athlete to earn a spot in the men’s pole vault final at worlds, had his season end when he missed three times at 18-6½ in London.
The senior-to-be at Lafayette High School, competing for his mother’s home country of Sweden, got off to a solid start Tuesday when he easily cleared the opening height of 18- ½ on his first attempt.
But a narrow miss on his first try at the next height of 18-6½ led to two more unsuccessful attempts and resulted in his elimination from the competition against 11 other athletes who made the finals.
In Sunday’s qualifying, Duplantis had to get over the bar at 18-8¼ to gain a spot in the final. He was the youngest athlete — by nearly two years — to reach the world championships final in the event since Olympic gold medalist and 10-time world champion Sergey Bubka did it in 1983.
On the track Tuesday, three former LSU All-Americans advanced to the next round in their specialties — two for Team USA and one for Trinidad & Tobago.
Six-time NCAA 200-meter champion Kimberlyn Duncan easily won her preliminary heat in that event with a time of 22.74 seconds, automatically qualifying for Thursday’s semifinals. Duncan’s time was the fifth-fastest of the day among the 46 women who lined up in the event.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Semoy Hackett also punched her ticket for the semifinals when she clocked a time of 23.50 seconds to finish third in her preliminary heat.
Later, Cassandra Tate, the 2015 bronze medalist in the 400-meter hurdles at the world championships, claimed a spot in Thursday’s final, which will be held at 3:33 p.m. CDT, when she was third in her semifinal heat in 55.31 seconds.
On Wednesday, former LSU All-American Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, competing for Great Britain, will race in the 200-meter semifinals at 2:55 p.m.
Also, former Southeastern Louisiana thrower Alex Young, the 2017 NCAA and U.S. national champion in the hammer, will try to earn a spot in the finals when he competes in the qualification round at 2:50 p.m.