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Pole vault: how to explain Armand Duplantis' centimeter-by-centimeter progression?


Highlights: Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis breaks his own world record by one centimeter. The 23-year-old cleared 6.23m at the Diamond League finals in Eugene, USA. Coach Philippe d'Encausse: "We almost all know that he can be 6.30 m, he is worth it right now" "I don't think Mondo will ever break this number of records," says Renaud Lavillenie's coach.

The Swedish pole vaulter cleared 6.23m on Sunday in Eugene, improving his world record for the seventh time. A strategy of the small to small

What do a stamp, a bee, a thumbnail and the feat of Sunday, September 17, 2023 have in common? It measures the same size, one centimeter. Anecdotal? Yes and no. With this extra centimetre, Armand Duplantis signs a new world record. The 23-year-old cleared 6.23m at the Diamond League finals in Eugene, USA, and improved his own record of 6.22m, set last February at the All Star Perche meeting in Clermont-Ferrand.

Before that, "Mondo" as Duplantis is nicknamed, cleared 6.21m at the World Athletics Championships in July 2022 just a few months after 6.20m in March of the same year, indoors in Belgrade. The young prodigy is therefore progressing centimeter by centimeter, continuing to widen the gap with the competition. But then why, if he is alone and far ahead, improve his brand only by centimeters in the singular?

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"First of all, to make history, the goal is to be the greatest pole vaulter of all time," says Philippe Collet. The former professional pole vaulter calculates head "With one or two world records a year, still for five, six years, it can lead him to 6.35 m, which would just be amazing. " A record that seems crazy, but imaginable for the former champion, who compares the young Swede to the legend Sergei Bubka.

"We almost all know that he can be 6.30 m, he is worth it right now"

With his 35 world records broken (at the time we distinguished indoor and outdoor records, which is no longer the case), the Ukrainian is still far ahead. "I don't think Mondo will ever break this number of records," said Philippe d'Encausse, Renaud Lavillenie's coach. But it would be silly to do 10 cm at once and no longer break a world record. Perch is a matter of statistics. If I were his coach, the goal would be for him to last as long as possible. »

Beyond being part of time by accumulating records, the centimeter strategy also allows, and above all, to keep the possibility of doing better. "Any athlete would do the same thing, it allows him to stay in the game, to maintain motivation over the long term," adds Philippe Collet. Because we all know that it can be 6.30 m, it is worth them right now. It should be noted, however, that before crossing 6.23 m this Sunday, by touching the bar, Duplantis did it again 24 times during the summer (3 jumps in 8 competitions). Proof that every inch remains a challenge, even for him.

The last grab this Sunday allowed "Mondo" to win the "Diamond Trophy" and pocket $ 30,000. At this summer's Worlds in Budapest, the gold medal in the individual event brought in more than double, $70,000 while a world record broken during the competition earned an additional $100,000. And it is probably worth adding to this performance bonuses paid by its sponsors.

If for Philippe Collet as Philippe d'Encausse, the financial aspect is taken into account in this strategy of the centimeter, it remains secondary. "It's not as important as for Sergei Bubka, for whom it was essential to monetize his performances," says Philippe Collet. Questioned on the subject in 2020 by our colleagues from L'Équipe, Mondo had replied: "If I deliberately try centimeter by centimeter? I'm not sure how to say that. I have no idea how many times I could break a world record, I just try to go as high as I can. »

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-09-18

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