Former LSU pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis broke Sergey Bubka’s 26-year-old outdoor world record on Thursday, clearing 20 feet, 2.126 inches.
Duplantis cleared the height of his second attempt at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meet in Rome, besting Bubka’s mark of 20 feet, 1.732 inches set in Sestriere, Italy in July 1994.
He had taken 14 unsuccessful attempts at 20 feet, 2.126 inches across six meets in six countries over the last 35 days.
“Everybody kept talking about it, it was a big chip on my shoulder and I feel I had to do it to have people stop asking me this question,” Duplantis said, according to meet organizers. “When I did it, it was more relief than joy.
“It is crazy. It has been a long time coming. Coming into the season we did not know if we were able to do any competition at all. This world record is really unexpected and I am very grateful.”
At the age of 20, Duplantis now owns world records indoors and outdoors. Bubka did not vault his lifetime best until age 29.