By Maddie Lang
All season there has been one thing on Mondo Duplantis’ mind—besting his own world record in the men’s pole vault. He attempted to surpass his world record of 6.22 meters nine times in the Stockholm, Zurich and Brussels Diamond League meets without success.
He finally achieved his goal Sunday afternoon at The Prefontaine Classic, making his first attempt at 6.23m for the world record and the Diamond League title.
“It’s a crazy way to end the year,” Duplantis said. “I’ve never had an ending like this, so it was just something a little different.”
Duplantis soared through his first three jumps. Filipino Ernest John Obiena secured second place at 5.82m and left Duplantis alone after missing at 6.02m.
With a familiar stage set, Duplantis prepared for yet another world record attempt. He sprinted down the runway, planted and pushed up, slightly brushing the bar as he passed over it. The bar bounced but stayed up.
The excitement was plastered on his face as he fell. He sprinted off of the mat toward the stands and embraced his competitors and family. He jumped up onto the railing and fist bumped at the crowd.
“I’m usually pretty excited for those world records because they feel good,” he said. “What else can you say?”
This is Duplantis’ second world record at Hayward Field. The first was when he closed the 2022 World Athletics Championships by jumping 6.21m.
“I definitely have something good going here at the new Hayward Field, that’s for sure,” he said. “I’m two-for-two on those world records.”
Duplantis credits much of his pole vaulting success at Hayward Field to the stadium’s high quality runway, which he said has the “perfect texture” to give athletes the right amount of bounce and resistance.
“It’s not too hard, not too soft,” Duplantis said. “It just feels really fast and solid.”
In addition, most stadiums have the pole vault on the end zone of the track, but at Hayward Field, it’s along the back 100 meters. He said this allows vaulters to feel like they are running on a normal track instead of just a runway, and the location also allows them to take advantage of the direction the wind blows into the stadium.
Duplantis also credited his world record performance to uncontrollable factors like weather and wind that worked in his favor.
“I need for the things I can’t control to be right, and today was nice,” Duplantis said. “The weather was perfect, the wind was nice and basically it was up to me to try and go get over that bar.”