A little more than four months after shattering the world junior record in the pole vault, Armand "Mondo" Duplantis made more history Sunday at the IAAF world championships in London.
The senior-to-be at Lafayette High School became the youngest athlete to reach the men’s pole vault final at the world championships when he was one of eight competitors to clear 18 feet, 8¼ inches in the qualification round at London Stadium.
Duplantis, who turns 18 on Nov. 10, will have the opportunity to participate in the 12-man final Tuesday at 1:35 p.m. at the age of 17 years, 271 days.
Armand Duplantis remembers a few things about his first track meet. His most vivid memory is…
Previously, the youngest male athlete to qualify for the finals was Sergey Bubka of the Soviet Union. He was 19 years, 253 days when he won the gold medal in the vault in 1983 — the first year the worlds were held.
Bubka went on to claim gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and claimed 10 world championship golds — six outdoors and four indoors.
Duplantis, the son of former LSU track stars Greg Duplantis and Helena Hedlund, is representing his mother’s home country of Sweden.
The younger Duplantis set the world junior record when he soared 19-4¼ at the Texas Relays on April 1 — which ranked him third in the world this year going into Sunday’s competition.
Since then, Duplantis’ best jump was 18-9½. But he didn’t have to jump that high Sunday when the competition was shut down after 12 finalists were identified from the starting field of 29.
Lafayette High’s Mondo Duplantis soared to new heights Thursday. And, for once, he didn't ne…
There were some anxious moments, however, while competing well before dawn back in his hometown of Lafayette.
Duplantis missed on his first two attempts at the opening height of 17-4½ before clearing the bar on his third and final try to stay alive.
Then, he stayed in the competition when he cleared 17-10½ and 18-4½ on his second attempt at those heights.
Duplantis, who was picked to finish sixth in the event by Track & Field News, also missed twice at 18-8¼ before he went up and over the bar on his final attempt to secure his spot in the finals.
Baptiste reaches final
Former LSU track star Kelly-Ann Baptiste, a four-time Olympian for Trinidad & Tobago and the 2011 world championships bronze medalist at 100 meters, placed eighth in Sunday's final in that event.
Baptiste, the sixth-ranked sprinter in the world in 2017, easily made it through the preliminary heats Saturday and returned for the semifinals Sunday.
She earned the second wild card spot for the final in taking third in her semifinal heat in 11.07 seconds, before finishing eighth in the final with a time of 11.09.
Two former LSU athletes will be in action in Monday's preliminary heats.
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, representing Great Britain, lines up in the 200 meters, while Loranger native Cassandra Tate, the bronze medalist in the 400 hurdles at the 2015 world championships, begins her quest for another medal.