Armand Duplantis’s world pole vault record of 6.17m, Yulimar Rojas’s world indoor triple jump record of 15.43m and Joshua Cheptegei’s 12:51 5km world record have been ratified.
Duplantis comes of age
Duplantis was in sensational form throughout the indoor season and opened his 2020 campaign with a 6.00m vault in Dusseldorf. Four days later, at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in the Polish city of Torun on 8 February, he went much higher.
The European champion started with first-attempt clearances at 5.72m, 5.92m and 6.01m. On his first attempt at 6.17m, he brushed the bar with his thigh on the way up, sending it crashing down.
“After that first attempt, I thought, ‘yeah, I just need two more attempts at this and I got it’,” he said. “I was pretty confident that I had it.”
He only needed one more. It wasn’t clean – again he brushed it slightly on the way up – but the bar stayed on as he sailed back down to earth. For the first time, as a world record-holder.
“How do you explain a dream that’s been a dream since you were three years old?” he pondered afterwards. “It’s a big dream, too. It’s not a little dream. And it’s a whole process building up to that moment. I can’t really get my head around it.”
His vault added one centimetre to the previous record set by Renaud Lavillenie of France in Donetsk, Ukraine, on 15 February 2014.
One week later at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Glasgow, Duplantis vaulted 6.18m – a mark that is still pending ratification.
Rojas makes her short season count
Rojas, like Duplantis, was also a revelation during the indoor season. The two-time world indoor and outdoor champion from Venezuela had just two triple jump competitions, her first being a 15.03m leap in Metz.
The 24-year-old then made history at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid on 21 February. After a cautious start to the competition, recording two fouls and a valid 14.65m, she bounded out to 15.29m in round four, the second-best indoor jump in history.
She wasn’t finished, though. Following one more foul in round five, Rojas flew out to 15.43m in the final round, adding seven centimetres to the previous world indoor record set by Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva in Budapest on 6 March 2004.
“I’m over the moon; I can’t believe I’m the world record-holder,” Rojas said afterwards. “When I managed 15.29m so easily in the fourth round, I thought the record was definitely in my legs.
“Before the competition, Ivan (Pedroso, her coach) told me, ‘today is your day, don’t miss this chance, the only thing you have to do is remain calm and focused and you’ll jump far’.”
Cheptegei smashes through 13-minute barrier
Five days earlier, Cheptegei shattered the world 5km record with a sensational 12:51 solo run at the Monaco Run 5km on 16 February.
Running alone from the start, the 23-year-old Ugandan smashed through the event’s 13-minute barrier, clipping a massive 27 seconds from the previous record of 13:18 set by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto en route to his 10km world record in Valencia on 12 January.
Quick from the outset, Cheptegei blitzed through the first kilometre in 2:31, the fastest split of the race. He followed up with 2:35, 2:36 and 2:35 kilometre splits before sealing his record with a closing 2:32 kilometre.
“I had sub 13 minutes in my mind today so when my legs felt good during the race I decided to really go for it,” Cheptegei said.
World U20 records for Hailu and US men’s 4x400m relay quartet
Meanwhile, at that same World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Torun, Lemlem Hailu of Ethiopia broke the world indoor U20 1500m record, clocking 4:01.79 to clip 0.02 from the previous record set by her compatriot Gudaf Tsegay in 2016. Eleven days later she clocked 4:01.57 in Lievin, France, but that performance is still pending ratification.
And finally, the 38.62 4x100m relay performance by a US quartet at last year’s Pan-American U20 Championships on 21 July has also been ratified. Arian Smith, Justin Ofotan, Marcellus Moore and Matthew Boling eclipsed the previous mark of 38.66, set by another USA quartet 15 years earlier at the 2004 World U20 Championships.