Competing in his mother’s home country, LSU track and field signee Armand Duplantis won the pole vault Sunday in a Diamond League meet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Duplantis, the world junior record holder in the pole vault, outlasted four world champions to take the title at the Balhaus Gala, the sixth competition on the 14-meet Diamond League circuit.
Just a month after capping his high school career with a personal-record of 19 feet, 5½ inches in the Class 5A state meet at Bernie Moore Stadium, Duplantis won Sunday with a best of 19-2¾ — clearing the bar on his first attempt.
The 18-year-old Duplantis, a Lafayette native who holds dual citizenship but competes internationally for Sweden, delighted 15,000 spectators at Stockholm Stadium when he beat American Sam Kendricks, who cleared 19-¾ for second place.
Greg Duplantis used the word “storybook” to describe his son’s record-breaking high school career. Armand “Mondo” Duplantis authored an amazin…
Kendricks was the gold medalist at the World Championships in London last August and won bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
After winning Sunday’s competition, Duplantis failed to clear 19-4¾, then missed twice at 19-6½ — which would have been a stadium record.
In addition to Kendricks, the world champions Duplantis defeated Sunday were Poland’s Pawel Wojciechowski (18-10¾), Canada’s Shawnacy Barber (18-6¾) and Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe (18-6¾).
It was the first Diamond League title for Duplantis. He finished second to Kendricks in the Prefontaine Classic — a Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon, on May 25. Kendricks won with a 19-¾, while Duplantis cleared 18-8¾.
Duplantis’ PR of 19-5½ is the second-best jump in the world this season. The only man to jump higher is world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie, a native of France who cleared 19-6¼ at the Texas Relays in late March.
The end of an era and a heartbreaking finish made Lafayette High one of the big stories at the Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Indoor Championships Saturday.