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article imageMondo Duplantis talks pole vault, World Championships in London Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 26, 2017 in Sports
17-year-old world record holder Armand "Mondo" Duplantis chatted with Digital Journal about his distinguished career in pole vault, as well as his plans for the future.
Thus far, with his personal best of 5.90 meters, Duplantis holds the world leading mark in men's pole vault; moreover, he simultaneously set a new World Junior Record (for Under 20). He is the sole high school pole vaulter to have cleared 19 feet, and he accomplished this feature twice this year. "That was something I have been striving for the whole year. I didn't think it would come this year, but I thought I had a good chance of it," Duplantis said. "Going into the year, I was trying to make 5.70 meters to qualify for the world championships, and I was kind of surprised that 5.90 meters came this year. It was an amazing feeling and great that everything worked out."
Mondo Duplantis
Mondo Duplantis
John Nepolitan
At 2017 NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory in New York this past February, Duplantis had set a new personal best of 5.82 meters in pole vault in the indoor track and field. Duplantis described pole vault as "a unique event in track and field." "I've done it for a such a long time, and I started at such a young age. The adrenaline you get from it is just amazing," he said.
Over the last year, Duplantis has improved and growth as a track and field athlete. "Last year, I was very underdeveloped compared to this year, but I had a great fall training so physically I got a lot stronger, faster, and my technique has gotten better," he said.
Each day, Duplantis is motivated by his desire to better himself. "I try to beat my personal best and I strive to get better for the world championships this summer in London," he said.
He listed his father, Greg, as his greatest influence in life, who was a world-class professional pole vaulter in his own right. Duplantis praised Olympic Tim Mack and Sam Kendricks for being "great idols" to him. "I've met Sam Kendricks before. He's a great person and an idol of mine too. He's the prototype of how you should be as a great athlete and an even better person," he said.
Speaking of Kendricks, Duplantis was able to successfully complete the Sam Kendricks 5.50 meter challenge with 10 jumps in less than 30 minutes.
On his future plans, Duplantis said, "Hopefully, I can stay healthy and I can try and go for a medal in London."
Regarding the key to longevity in pole vault, he underscored the importance of starting young. Duplantis started pole vaulting at the age of five. "Starting off young gave me an advantage cause I got an early feel for the event, and I got a lot of recognition under my belt," he said.
Mondo Duplantis
Mondo Duplantis
John Nepolitan
For aspiring pole vault athletes, he said, "Don't be afraid to try new things. A lot of pole vaulting is just mental, and it has mental blocks in it. You need to be fearless."
Duplantis concluded our interview by defining the word success. "For me, success is what sports is all about, and the reason why I do it. The whole point of it would be to have fun and every day I'm trying to be faster and stronger. I still have a lot of room to improve."
To learn more about world record holder Armand "Mondo" Duplantis, check out his Twitter page.
More about mondo duplantis, pole vaulter, World, London
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