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EUGENE, Ore.: Armand “Mondo” Duplantis wrapped up the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene in stunning fashion on Sunday, setting a new world record in the pole vault with the final act of the 10-day track and field bonanza.
The gripping finale couldn’t have been better scripted for the first World Championships ever to be held on American soil – other than perhaps the fact that American-born and raised Duplantis wore the yellow and blue of Sweden and did not represent the Stars and Stripes.
As the furious hubbub of the frantic 4x400m relays won by the men and women of the United States died down, all eyes turned to Duplantis.
And the 22-year-old Swede did not disappoint, sailing with ease over 6.21 meters in the second exposure time.
The packed and rowdy crowd at Hayward Field went wild as Duplantis sprinted to see his father and trainer Greg and plant a snatch kiss on the lips of his girlfriend Desire Inglander.
“It’s great, I can’t complain!” said Duplantis, whose new brand improved his previous best set by 1cm when winning gold at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March.
It was his fifth world record, and the third this year.
“I actually didn’t think much about the record today,” he said.
“Usually it’s always somewhere in my mind, but today I was really focused on winning and I wanted to win the gold so badly. It was the medal I was missing.
“So when I was at that height, it felt like everything just fell into place and it just happened from there.”
Unsung Nigerian Tobi Amusan previously stole the show with two electric runs en route to gold in the 100m hurdles.
In the very first event of a busy evening on the track, people barely had a chance to sit down with their sodas and popcorn before Amusan soared to a new world record of 12 .12 seconds in the semi-final.
When she got back on track later in the session, the Nigerian took the win in 12.06 seconds, although a tailwind speed of 2.5 meters per second meant she wouldn’t make it into the books. freshly inked records.
“The goal was to go out and win that gold medal. I just did it,” said Amusan, who edged out Jamaican Britany Anderson and Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico.
“I believe in my abilities but I did not expect a world record at these championships.”
American Athing Mu lived up to her enthusiasm by adding the 800m world title to her Olympic crown.
Mu, still only 20, was forced to dig deep to hold off British rival Keeley Hodgkinson in a thrilling battle down the home stretch before claiming gold in 1min 56.30sec.
“I’m just happy to have reached the finish line to finish the race and luckily I won the gold. Physically, I just wasn’t where I want to be,” Mu said.
Another gold medalist from the Tokyo Olympics last year, Malaika Mihambo, won a long-awaited medal for Germany by retaining her world long jump title.
But Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei came up short in a 5000m race won convincingly by Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who bounced back from the disappointing silver in the 1500m.
“I didn’t want a sprint finish,” Ingebrigtsen said. “I wanted to prove that I’m a better runner than the rest of the guys.
“It was a great race. I ran it, I needed it. I felt really good today, but 5 km is really difficult.
In the absence of Canadian Olympic champion Damian Warner due to injury, Frenchman Kevin Mayer seized the opportunity to win a second world gold medal in the decathlon.
Mayer racked up 8,816 points after 10 disciplines over two days to follow the previous world gold in 2017 in London.
Solidifying their place at the top of the medal table with a world championship record of 33 (13 gold, nine silver, 11 bronze), the United States scored resounding victories in both 4×400 relay finals m, much to the delight of the partisan crowd.
Strength in depth saw record-breaking 400m hurdles gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin anchor the women and individual 400m winner Michael Norman take a leg up for the men’s quartet.
The women’s victory meant Allyson Felix, now retired, won a 20th world medal as she was a member of the team that competed in Saturday’s playoffs.