Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis (© AFP / Getty Images)
World record-holder Mondo Duplantis returned to action at the Serbian Open Indoor Meeting in Belgrade, winning the pole vault at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze meeting with a world-leading 6.10m on Wednesday (24).
The 21-year-old skipped last week’s World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Torun – venue of his first world record – as a precaution, having felt a slight hamstring niggle during his competition in Lievin on 9 February. The rest clearly did the trick as the Swede returned to winning ways in the Serbian capital with one of the best vaults of his career.
He needed two attempts to get over his opening height, 5.60m, but then sailed over 5.80m at the first time of asking to secure first place in the competition. Olympic champion Thiago Braz and world bronze medallist Piotr Lisek both cleared 5.70m and went no higher, tying for second place.
Duplantis, meanwhile, went on to clear 6.00m and then 6.10m on his first attempts. He moved the bar up to a would-be world record height of 6.19m and had a solid first attempt, but after a second failure he started to feel a bit fatigued and so retired from the competition.
His next competition will be at the European Indoor Championships early next month.
World indoor champion Ivana Spanovic enjoyed a victory on home soil, winning the long jump with 6.71m.
"This was a unique competition because it took place seven days before a big one," Spanovic said, referring to the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun next week where she will be gunning a fourth successive victory. "I competed without my coach and that hindered my performance. All in all, it is always nice to compete on the home soil."
Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers was second with a season’s best of 6.50m.
World Championships finalist Armin Sinancevic broke his own Serbian indoor record to win the shot put. He led from the outset, throwing 21.05m in the first round before setting a national indoor record of 21.25m in round two. He backed it up in the third round with 21.18m. Mesud Pezer of Bosnia and Herzegovina was second with 20.78m.
Elsewhere, Olympic finalist Morgan Lake won the high jump with a season’s best of 1.96m, while 2017 European indoor champion Izmir Smajlaj won the long jump with 7.91m. The track highlight came from world U20 silver medallist Andrea Miklos, who won the 400m in 52.54.
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics