Report03 Feb 2023

Duplantis and Warholm open seasons with world-leading marks


Mondo Duplantis in Uppsala (© AFP / Getty Images)

World record-holders Mondo Duplantis and Karsten Warholm – competing in their eponymous meetings in Uppsala and Ulsteinvik respectively, both World Athletics Indoor Tour Challenger meetings – got their 2023 campaigns off to strong starts with performances that took them straight to the top of the world lists on Thursday (2).

Duplantis, competing at the Mondo Classic in the Swedish city of Uppsala, delighted his home fans by winning the pole vault with a Swedish indoor all-comers’ record of 6.10m.

He opened his series with a first-time clearance at 5.67m and followed it with another successful jump at 5.82m. Four other men – USA’s KC Lightfoot, Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines, Australia’s Kurtis Marschall and Norway’s Pal Haugen Lillefosse – cleared that height and progressed on to 5.91m.

Once again, Duplantis got over on his first try. Lightfoot needed two attempts and Obiene required three, while Marschall and Lillefosse bowed out.

The world and Olympic champion registered his first foul of the evening at 6.00m, but got over on his second try. Lightfoot and Obiena were unable to go higher than 5.91m, leaving Duplantis to move the bar up to 6.10m. After two misses, the world record-holder got over it on his third attempt, adding six centimetres to the meeting record he established last year.

He ended the night with three attempts at a would-be world record height of 6.22m, all of which were unsuccessful, but he was nevertheless satisfied with his winning height of 6.10m – not just his best ever season opener, but the highest season-opening performance of any pole vaulter in history.

Warholm, who hadn’t raced 400m indoors for three years, was similarly dominant at the Karsten Warholm Invitational in Ulsteinvik, his first competitive appearance of 2023.

The Olympic 400m hurdles champion blasted around the two laps to win in 45.31, his second-best indoor clocking behind the continental record of 45.05 he set when winning the European indoor title in 2019. Fellow Norwegian Havard Bentdal Ingvaldsen was a distant runner-up in 46.94.

World indoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh notched up her third victory of the year in the high jump. The Ukrainian won with 1.99m, having cleared 2.00m in her season opener in Lviv last month.

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah also made a rare indoor appearance. The Jamaican sprint superstar found that 7.30 was enough to win the women’s 60m by a comfortable 0.10 margin from Helene Ronningen.

Sutej soars 4.82m in Ostrava

World indoor bronze medallist Tina Sutej set the 30th Slovenian record of her career when winning the pole vault with 4.82m at the Czech Indoor Gala – a World Indoor Tour Silver meeting – in Ostrava on Thursday (2).

The European bronze medallist went clear at 4.42m, 4.52m and 4.62m on her first attempts, and then cleared a meeting record of 4.72m, also on her first try. She brought down the bar on her first two attempts at 4.82m, but then nailed it on her final try, moving her to equal 12th on the world indoor all-time list.

It wasn’t the only national record to fall in Ostrava. Serbia’s Elzan Bibic won the men’s mile in a national indoor record of 3:55.90, winning comfortably from Austria’s Raphael Pallitsch (3:57.22).

Elsewhere, World Championships fourth-place finisher Lieke Klaver won the women’s 400m in 51.00 from Czech Republics’ Lada Vondrova (51.57).

NACAC champion Alaysha Johnson continued her consistent form in the 60m hurdles, winning in 7.87. Nadine Visser had clocked 7.86 in the heats but was second in the final (7.96). Cuba’s Roger Iribarne won the men’s event in 7.54 with Czech Republic’s 38-year-old Petr Svoboda a close runner-up in 7.58.

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