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  28 May 2022, 12:33

Duplantis launches outdoor season with Eugene Diamond League pole vault win

EUGENE, United States, May 28, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - World record-holder Armand
Duplantis made a smooth if unspectacular start to his outdoor season on
Friday, winning the men's pole vault at the Eugene Diamond League with a
vault of 5.91m.

The US-born Swede -- known as "Mondo" -- had victory in hand when he made
three failed attempts at 6.07 and said that left a sour taste in his mouth.

"I feel like when I go into any competition I want to get over six meters
now," said Duplantis, who set two world records in two weeks at the World
Indoor Championships in March, taking the new benchmark to 6.20m.

He won at the Diamond League in Doha earlier this month, but that competition
was moved indoors because of high winds, making Friday his first outdoor
competition in a season where the World Championships will be held at the
same venue in Eugene in July.

Duplantis said he was "just trying to get a feel for outdoors" at the event,
held at Hayward Field.

American Chris Nilsen was second with a vault of 5.81, unable to match the
6.00 he set in South Dakota earlier this month. Norway's Sondre Guttormsen
was third, also clearing 5.81.

France's Renaud Lavillenie, the 2012 Olympic champion who has a personal best
of 6.16m, had a disappointing night, unable to clear 5.61m.

"Winning was the most important thing, but ... I'm a little bitter about not
hitting that 6.07 bar," Duplantis said. "I felt good jumping ... just barely
nicked it off all three times."

The pole vault had originally been scheduled for Saturday, but was moved,
along with the women's discus and high jump, because of expected rain.

Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the high jump with a world-leading 2.0m.

Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Valarie Allman of the United States won the
women's discus with a throw of 68.35m. Her Croatian rival Sandra Perkovic was
second with a throw of 65.50m and Germany's Kristin Pudenz (62.58m) was
third.

Until the decision to hold the field events on Friday, the highlights of the
night were expected to be world record attempts in both the men's and women's
5,000m -- neither of which came to fruition.

Uganda's Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Joshua Cheptegei posted a world-leading
12min 57.99sec to win the men's 5,000m, but didn't threaten the world record
of 12:35.36 he set in 2020.

Ethiopia's Milkesa Mengesha, who briefly seized the lead at 4,000m but
couldn't hold Cheptegei off, finished second in 13:01.11 and Kenya's Daniel
Simiu Ebenyo was third in 13:10.61.

Ethiopia's Ejgayehu Taye upset compatriot Letesenbet Gidey in the women's
5,000, clocking a world-leading 14:12.98.

Gidey, the 10,000m Olympic bronze medallist, was aiming to improve the world
record of 14:06.62 she set in 2020 but instead settled for second in
14:24.59.

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