Duplantis says he is in 'good shape' and aiming for vault record

Agence France-Presse
Duplantis says he is in 'good shape' and aiming for vault record
Sweden's Armand Duplantis gestures during the men's pole vault final at Astana Indoor Meet for Amin Tuyakov Prizes during the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold in Astana, on January 27, 2024.

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France – Despite a slow start to the season, Olympic pole vault champion Armand Duplantis said he is aiming to break his world record in Clermont-Ferrand five months before returning to France for the Paris Games.

Since 2020, the Swedish athlete has raised the world record from 6.16m to 6.23m, and is returning on Thursday to the indoor venue where he broke the record for sixth time last February, clearing 6.22.

The dedicated "All Star Perche" in central France comes less than two weeks before the men's pole vault at the indoor world championships in Glasgow.

So far this season, Duplantis has fallen well short of 6m in his two appearance, starting at Astana in January. His best jump was 5.92 at a competition named after him, the Mondo Classic, in Upsala, Sweden on February 6.

"I don't think my first two competitions of the year reflected my real form," he told AFP.

"I know that I'm in very good shape and also that I'm jumping very well."

"My training is very good, at the level I want. Of course the first two competitions were a little frustrating, but these are very small things, easy to sort out."

"They were two completely opposite competitions."

"Kazakhstan was a difficult journey and my legs were really dead."

"In Sweden, I felt really good, in great shape, but I was a bit too pumped. It was as if I was trying to break the record when the bar was only at six meters.

"I've done some good training since then. I feel good, I feel confident, I feel strong, fast. I'm confident about what I can do and where I stand, and I know that I'm at a high level at the moment."

Duplantis said he plans to add one centimeter to his world record at the French meet, organized by his friend Renaud Lavillenie, the 2012 Olympic champion and previous world record holder.

"Six meters 24! That's the objective. But there are stages to go through before that. First you have to win and clear the bars at less than six meters."

"I think it's possible, that it's within my capabilities, and I want to show that this is the form I'm in, because I know I'm there. Of course I want to clear six meters again, I don't think that's going to be a problem."

He said he was looking forward to returning to the Maison des Sports in Clermont-Ferrand.

"You know it's a track I feel comfortable on, where I'm able to jump well. The configuration should be the same as last year, and it's a configuration in which I jumped high, in which I know I can jump well, I don't expect it to change this year."

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