A moment to chase away the "pandemic" blues: Athletissima's "City Event" showcasing pole vault offered a magnificent show in Lausanne on Wednesday, thanks in particular to the phenomenal Armand Duplantis. The Swede, after a sumptuous duel with the double world champion Sam Kendricks (USA), won with a jump of 6:07, the best outdoor jump of his young career, and 11 cm from his own world record established in February (indoors).
“Tonight, the important thing was not to go for the world record, but to put on a show for the public. I do not regret having made so many jumps (seven bars crossed on the first attempt, from 5m62 to 6m07 ", said the Scandinavian prodigy. Seeing the margin with which he passed the bar and the ease with with which he mastered in particular 5m92 and 6m02, he certainly has 6m20 in the legs. He stopped after he pulled out on his first attempt at 6m15, which would have been an outdoor world record.
"It was too dark and safety was a concern", he said, happy to have put on, with his friend Kendricks, a marvellous duel to the thousand privileged spectators allowed at the Place de l 'Europe (restrictions as a result of the coronavirus). The crowd was buzzing for more than two and a half hours.
Kendricks spurred on by his Nordic opponent finished 2nd with 6m02, which was his highest jump of the season by 20cm. The special atmosphere of the event, which offered the best of what can be witnessed in a non-stadium competition, even gave a lift to the Brazilian, Thiago Braz, back to a good level four years after his Olympic title in Rio (3rd with 5m72).
The French, Renaud Lavillenie (4th with 5m72), back from injury, also took this competition very seriously. "I will come back to Lausanne as long as I am invited," said the 2012 Olympic champion and former world record holder.
The women's competition, organised on a parallel track, was won by the Swede, Angelica Bengtsson, with 4m72. She then tried in vain 4m84, which would have constituted a new national record.
This original format, with men and women alternating between each other, was very popular. For example, it pushed Zurich's Angelica Moser, who secured a good 3rd place with 4m64, just 1 cm from her personal best.
“I'm pretty happy but I can go higher. I'm seeing it in training," said the powerful and radiant Zurich woman. Three athletes crossed 4m64. They were separated by the number of attempts, the Briton Holly Bradshaw finishing 2nd and the Swede Michaela Meijer 4th.
Athletissima City Event 2020. Men's and women's pole vault competition.
- Armand Duplantis (SWE) 6m07 (MPM et record du meeting).
- Sam Kendricks (USA) 6m02
- Thiago Braz (BRA) 5m72
- Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) 5m72
- Cole Walsh (USA) 5m62
- Thibaut Collet (FRA) 5m62
- Chris Nilsen (USA) 5m62
- Pawel Wojciechowski (POL) 5m62
- Claudio Stecchi (ITA) 5m52
- Angelica Bengtsson (SWE) 4m72
- Holly Bradshaw (GBR) 4m64
- Angelica Moser (SWI) 4m64
- Michaela Meijer (SWE) 4m64
- Marion Lotout (FRA) 4m54
- Andrina Hodel (SWI) 4m34
- Robeilys Peinado (VEN) 4m34
- Romana Malacova (CZE) 4m17