Rome

Mondo Duplantis breaks Sergey Bubka’s outdoor pole vault world record

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Mondo Duplantis broke Sergey Bubka‘s 26-year-old outdoor pole vault world record, clearing 6.15 meters at a Diamond League meet in Rome on Thursday.

Duplantis, the Swede who was born and raised in Louisiana, already held the overall pole vault world record, which he broke on consecutive Saturdays in February in indoor meets and raised to 6.18 meters.

Outdoors, Duplantis took 14 unsuccessful attempts at 6.15 meters in the last two months before clearing on his second try in Rome.

“Everybody kept talking about it, it was a big chip on my shoulder and I feel I had to do it to have people stop asking me this question,” Duplantis said, according to meet organizers. “When I did it, it was more relief than joy.”

Duplantis, a 20-year-old with a Swedish mom and American dad, turned professional last year after one season at LSU. He took silver at last year’s world championships behind American Sam Kendricks.

The Ukrainian Bubka broke the world record 17 times in the 1980s and ’90s, including by one centimeter on nine occasions from 1988-1994, taking advantage of bonus money each time he raised it.

Full Rome results are here. The Diamond League season concludes in Doha on Sept. 25.

In other events in Rome, Rio Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah clocked the world’s fastest women’s 100m in the world this year, 10.85 seconds.

Thompson-Herah, fifth and fourth at the last two world championships, supplanted fellow Jamaican Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who clocked 10.86 in Kingston on Aug. 22. Fraser-Pryce was not in the Rome field.

Norwegian Karsten Warholm won the 400m hurdles in 47.07 seconds, the ninth-fastest time in history. Warholm, the second-fastest ever in the event, has been chasing American Kevin Young‘s world record of 46.78 from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics all season.

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Warholm, Duplantis continue record chases; Rome TV, stream schedule

Karsten Warholm
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Karsten Warholm and Mondo Duplantis aren’t done record chasing this season.

Warholm, the world 400m hurdles champion from Norway, and Duplantis, the pole vault sensation from Sweden, continue pursuits of long-standing world records at a Diamond League meet in Rome on Thursday.

NBCSN coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Gold also streams live for subscribers.

Warholm takes his fifth crack this summer at the 28-year-old world record in the 400m hurdles, set at the Barcelona Olympics by American Kevin Young.

Since July 2019, the Norwegian clocked four of the 12 fastest times in history. That included his personal best at his last Diamond League appearance — 46.87 seconds to miss the record by .09 after clipping the last hurdle (just as Young did in 1992).

Warholm will either end his season in Rome or continue to the Norwegian Championships in Bergen on Sunday, his agent said.

Duplantis already broke the pole vault world record twice in February, raising it to 6.18 meters at indoor meets.

But he pursues the outdoor best as well, held by Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka (6.14 from 1994). The 20-year-old raised in Louisiana has taken 13 unsuccessful attempts at 6.15 meters in the last 32 days.

Duplantis is expected to end his season in Doha next week.

Here are the Rome entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

11:45 a.m. ET — Women’s High Jump
12:25 p.m. — Men’s Pole Vault
12:40 — Men’s High Jump
12:43 — Women’s 400m
12:53 — Women’s 400m Hurdles
1:03 — Men’s 400m Hurdles
1:13 — Men’s 400m
1:20 — Men’s 3000m
1:30 — Men’s Shot Put
1:38 — Women’s 100m Hurdles
1:47 — Men’s 110m Hurdles
1:55 — Women’s 800m
2:05 — Women’s 100m
2:15 — Men’s 100m

Here are three events to watch (statistics via Tilastopaja.org):

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:25 p.m.
Duplantis hasn’t faced much competition this season, but this field does include former world-record holder and 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France. Duplantis’ routine has been to win the competition, then raise the bar to 6.15 meters for record attempts. Bubka is the only man to ever clear a higher height outdoors than Duplantis’ personal best of 6.07.

Men’s 400m Hurdles — 1:03 p.m.
Nobody else in the field has been within 1.4 seconds of Warholm’s personal best. He may not get a challenge from anybody else, but Warholm has been just fine running by himself this season, breaking the 300m hurdles world record in a solo race. He bounced back well from a 47.62 last week to clock 47.08 in Berlin on Sunday, putting him back on record watch in Rome.

Women’s 100m — 2:05 p.m.
No chance the world record falls here. But significant for the presence of Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, set to race outside Jamaica for the first time since the 2019 World Championships, where she was shockingly fourth in the 100m and withdrew from the 200m before the semifinals. Thompson ranks second in the world this year at 10.88 seconds, trailing countrywoman and fellow Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (who ran 10.86 but is not in the Rome field). Also in Rome: Ivorian Marie-Josée Ta Lou, a medalist at the last two world championships, and 2018 U.S. champion Aleia Hobbs.

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Michael Norman edges Noah Lyles in Rome 200m

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Noah Lyles‘ undefeated 200m record this Olympic cycle is gone. So is his unblemished head-to-head history with friendly rival Michael Norman.

Norman won a duel between the 2016 World Junior Championships roommates, clocking a personal-best 19.70 seconds at a Diamond League meet in Rome on Thursday night.

Norman, the world’s fastest 400m man since the Rio Olympics, got a jump on Lyles off the start and never relinquished that lead. Lyles closed in the final straight but crossed in 19.72 for his first outdoor 200m loss since the 2016 Olympic trials.

“I still have a lot of technical issues with myself, like: be patient,” Norman said, according to meet organizers, after taking .14 off his previous best and beating Lyles for the first time in four tries dating to 2015, according to Tilastopaja.org. “I did not have any expectations coming into this race. I just want to improve myself and not chase a time.”

Lyles and Norman finished fourth and fifth in those Rio trials, just missing the Olympic team, but beamed for performing so well as 18-year-olds. Lyles turned pro two weeks later. Norman matriculated at USC, where he focused on the 400m.

While the outgoing Lyles gained more attention for lighting up the international Diamond League circuit, the calmer Norman finished his NCAA career last year by becoming the sixth-fastest 400m runner ever. He lowered his personal best to 43.45 on April 20, the fastest time ever that early in a year and by somebody that young.

Last season, Lyles joined Usain Bolt as the only men to break 19.7 in the 200m four times in one year.

But now, Lyles is the fastest this year in the 100m, and Norman leads the world in the 200m. Neither is expected to race those events at the USATF Outdoor Championships next month, the qualifier for worlds. Lyles is focused on the 200m; Norman the 400m as they eye world championships debuts in September.

Full Rome results are here. The Diamond League moves to Oslo next Thursday, with Christian Coleman, the world’s fastest man since the Rio Olympics, headlining.

Olympic champion Elaine Thompson ran a statement 100m with her fastest time in nearly two years (10.89) to overtake new phenom Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain by .05. U.S. champion Aleia Hobbs was third in 11.12.

Thompson, who swept the 100m and 200m in Rio, has since battled injuries and went winless outside her native Jamaica in 2018. She’s now fastest in the world this season.

“If I can run 10.94 when I’m feeling rusty, it’s not bad at all,” Asher-Smith said, according to meet organizers.

Donavan Brazier notched his first Diamond League win in the 800m, edging 2012 Olympic silver medalist Nijel Amos of Botswana by .02 with a lean. The 2017 U.S. champion clocked 1:43.63, fastest in the world since August. Double Olympic champion and world-record holder David Rudisha of Kenya has been sidelined since July 2017 due to quad problems.

Genzebe Dibaba prevailed in the 1500m in 3:56.28, her fastest time since lowering the world record to 3:50.07 in 2015. Dibaba held off Brit Laura Muir by .45, with Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson taking fourth.

Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad won the 400m hurdles in 53.67 seconds, giving her victories in both Diamond League races this season. However, the 2018 world leader Sydney McLaughlin wasn’t in either field. McLaughlin, 19, clocked the fastest time of 2018 at 52.75.

American Rai Benjamin clocked 47.58 to take the men’s 400m hurdles by a hefty 1.41 seconds over a field that lacked Qatari rival Abderrahman Samba. Samba, the second-fastest man ever in the event, owns the two fastest times of the year: 47.27 and 47.51.

Two-time Olympic javelin champion Barbora Spotakova had the worst Diamond League finish of her career, taking seventh in her first top-level meet since 2017, according to Tilastopaja.org. Spotakova, a 37-year-old Czech, gave birth to her second child last year. Her best throw Thursday — 61.51 meters — was more than 35 feet shy of her world record from 2008.

“I tried not to set any goals or to expect anything from myself here,” she said. “Every competition for me now is like a new start of my career.”

Swede Angelica Bengtsson upset Olympic gold and silver medalists Katerina Stefanidi and Sandi Morris in the pole vault, clearing 4.76 meters. Stefanidi and Morris each failed at three attempts at that height. Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic champ, no-heighted with three 4.56 misses after having issues getting her poles on her flight.

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