Baton Rouge, La.- World Duplantis Saturday morning he was named the winner of the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year 2020 award. The virtual ceremony announced a plethora of awards in what was a celebration of the sport of athletics.
Mondo won the award over Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda), Ryan Crouser (USA), Johannes Vetter (Germany) and Karsten Warholm (Norway). Duplantis, who is 21, becomes the youngest winner of this award.
“I just wanted to go out there and show the world who I was,” Duplantis said of his mindset as he entered the season that was supposed to be an Olympic year. “It was a strange season for everyone, but I was able to keep it and put together some pretty impressive results.”
“I’m just trying to go out there and jump high and break world records. I’ll keep giving it my all and whatever happens, it will happen. I’m so grateful for my support group around me and I wouldn’t be here without them. . “
It was a breakthrough year for Mondo in 2020, where he scored an unblemished 16-0 in competitions and broke indoor and outdoor world records in pole vaulting. He broke the indoor world record for the first time with a distance of 6.17 meters on February 8 in Torun, Poland, at the Orlen Copernicus Cup. He broke Renaud Lavilennie’s previous world record of 6.16 meters set in 2014.
Only a week has passed and on February 15 at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow he raised his world record by one centimeter with a distance of 6.18 meters. The indoor season saw him compete five times and at each event he went over six meters or more.
After a three and a half month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mondo returned to outdoor pole vaulting on June 11 at the Impossible Games in Oslo, Norway. It wasn’t until August 14, his fourth outdoor meeting in 2020, that he crossed the 6.00-meter barrier again. It crossed another six meters three more times before becoming the tallest outdoor vault ever on September 17. He climbed over 6.15 meters at the Golden Gala Peitro Mennea meeting in Italy to beat Surgey Bubka’s previous outdoor world record of 6.14 meters which dates back to 1994.
Duplantis topped 6.00 meters 14 times during his 2020 campaign in what is a sign to come as the young pro’s career has just begun. He will enter 2021 as the Olympic favorite in pole vaulting – he will represent Sweden at the Tokyo Olympics.
It was a great day for the whole Duplantis family. Mondo’s mom Helena and Mondo’s dad Greg received the Coaching Achievement Award. Helena and Greg serve as coaches and consultants for Mondo’s training. Mondo was also part of an award won by Renaud Lavillenie: the COVID Inspiration Award. In the early stages of the COVID-19 blockades, Lavillenie came up with the concept of the “Ultimate Garden Clash”. It was an event that three pole vaulters – Lavillenie, Mondo and Sam Kendricks – competed remotely from their backyards. Mondo made it from its backyard in Lafayette, La.