Reaching a new standard: Former LSU All-America pole vaulter wins third World Athletics’ World Athlete of Year

Former LSU All-American pole vaulter and Lafayette native Mondo Duplantis. PHOTO COURTESY: LSU athletics

Former LSU All-American Armand “Mondo” Duplantis was named the World Athletics’ 2023 World Athlete of the Year on Monday. This is the third time Duplantis has earned this honor, tying him for second place all-time for the prestigious honor.

Among the men’s finalists were Neeraj Chopra (IND), Ryan Crouser (USA), Duplantis (SWE), Kelvin Kiptum (KEN), and Noah Lyles (USA).

Duplantis was named as one of the five finalist athletes, who represent four countries from four area associations, in November.

A three-way voting process determined the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans logged their decisions online via the World Athletics social media platforms where a record 2 million votes were registered.

The Swedish superstar and native of Lafayette, La. pole vaulter improved on his world record indoors and outdoors, successfully defended his world title, and racked up another 20 clearances at 6.00 meters or higher in 2023.

His year started with a clearance of 20 feet, 10 1/4 inches on Swedish soil in Uppsala. After winning in Berlin (19-10.5) and Lievin (19-8 3/4), Duplantis capped his indoor campaign with a world record of (20-5) in Clermont-Ferrand.

In outdoors, Duplantis suffered a rare defeat in Monaco where he placed fourth heading into the World Championships. At the World Championships, Duplantis cleared a height of 6.10 meters in the final to earn another gold medal.

Then at the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene – his final competition of the year, and back on the runway where he had broken the world record in 2022 to win the world title – Duplantis ended his season with his first attempt after already securing the Diamond League win. He cleared 6.23 meters (20-5 1/4 inches) to add to his own world record.

By the end of a long season, Duplantis had won 16 of his 17 competitions. He now owns the top-eight vaults in history and a total of 74 six-meter vaults – which translates to 36% of all the six-meter vaults ever achieved in the history of the sport.

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