Duplantis soars to new world record in claiming World Athletics Championship

PHOTO COURTESY: LSU athletics.

EUGENE, Oregon – Former LSU track and field star Mondo Duplantis stole the show on Sunday, breaking his own world record with a pole vault of 6.21m (20 feet, 4.5 inches) to win the gold for Sweden at the World Athletics Championships.

With the vault, Duplantis broke his record of 6.20m set in March of this year; he now holds the six highest vaults in world history. The 22-year-old adds a gold at the World Outdoors to his already impressive trophy case, which includes a gold medal at the 2021 Olympics and the 2022 World Indoor Championships.

Duplantis clinched the gold after vaulting 6.00m, which no other competitor was able to match. After clearing 6.06m on his next attempt, the bar raised to 6.21m which he cleared it on his second attempt.

Along with Duplantis, former Tigers Vernon Norwood and Aleia Hobbs also contributed to trophy finishes, helping Team USA win a World Championship record of 33 medals.

It is the third medal that Norwood has won at World Championships, adding to two golds collected in 2015 and 2019. He also has two trophy finishes at World Indoor Championships and two from the 2021 Olympics.

Norwood also qualified Team USA in the men’s 4x400m relay, running a 2:58.96 to win their heat and advance to the final, where he did not race.

Hobbs also represented Team USA well, qualifying for finals in both the 100m and women’s 4×100 relay. She won her first 100 heat with a time of 11.04 and placed second in her semifinal (10.95) to advance to the final. She trimmed her time even further in the final, running a 10.92 to finish sixth in her first individual final at a major championship.

In the 4×100 relay, Team USA ran a 41.56 to win their heat and advance to the final. Hobbs ran a 9.91 split, second-fastest in the race, but did not run in the final, where Team USA took home the gold.

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake led Great Britain to a bronze in the men’s 4x100m relay.

Rising junior Alia Armstrong won her first two heats in the women’s 100 hurdles, including a personal-best 12.43 in the semifinal to advance into Sunday night’s final. In the final, she ran a wind-aided 12.31 to finish fourth and move up to No. 2 on the collegiate all-time.

Her fellow junior Favour Ofili made an early splash, winning her 200 heat, with a time of 22.24 seconds. The 19-year-old came in third in the semifinal, narrowly missing out on the final and finishing the event in 10th place.

Ofili also represented Nigeria in the women’s 4×100 relay, where they ran 42.22 to place fourth in the final.

Former Tiger and NCAA Champion Natoya Goule ran three exceptional races in the 800. She won her first heat with a time of 2:00.06 and bettered that with a 1:58.73 to advance to the final, where she ran a season-best 1:57.90.

JuVaughn Harrison easily advanced past the qualification round of the men’s high jump and wound up ninth. After winning his opening heat with a time of 45.81, Michael Cherry finished 13th overall in the 400.

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