Duplantis sets pole vault world record, Gong claims shot put title at Xiamen Diamond League


  • World
  • Sunday, 21 Apr 2024

XIAMEN, China, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Sweden's pole vault star Armand Duplantis improved his own world record by one centimeter as China's Gong Lijiao took the women's shot put victory at the opening meeting of the 2024 Diamond League here in Xiamen on Saturday.

24-year-old Duplantis needed only three attempts to secure his title, clearing 5.62-meter, 5.82m and 6.00m with a clean sheet. The bar was then raised to 6.24m, one centimeter over his own world record set last September at the 2023 Diamond League final in Eugene, the United States. The world and Olympic champion duly soared over the bar once again at his first attempt.

"This is my first time in China and it's exciting to get my [outdoor] season going," said Duplantis, who retained his world indoor title in Glasgow, UK, last month at 6.05m.

"I went into the competition with high expectations. And I knew that I could jump high, but there are so many things that have to be perfect and come together in the right way for that to actually happen. And everything was there today," he said.

"It's an amazing track and the weather was what it needs to be. Energy in the crowd was great. Everything was there for me. It was just up to me to go jump and I was able to do that. I'm honestly very, very excited about that."

Sam Kendricks of the United States cleared 5.82m to finish second and Huang Bokai of China registered a season's best of 5.72m to take third place.

It was the eighth time for Duplantis to renew the world record. He first managed the feat in February 2020, when he set 6.17m in Torun, Poland.

China's Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion Gong Lijiao also lit up the crowd with a victory in a reunion of the top-three finishers at last year's World Championships.

35-year-old Gong achieved a season's best of 19.72m on her second attempt to take the leading position and bowed out with a 19.61m to wrap up the victory.

New Zealand's Maddison-Lee Wesche hurled a personal best of 19.63m to edge past American world champion Chase Jackson, who finished third with 19.62m. Canada's Sarah Mitton, runner-up at the 2023 worlds, finished fourth with 19.35m.

"I am happy to win but not satisfied with the result. It's my first outdoor competition and I expected to throw over 20m to boost my confidence," Gong said. "But the field is very strong today. I think winning the competition can also help to build my confidence."

Another local favorite Feng Bin failed to defend her title in women's discus, settling for third place with 67.07m. America's Olympic champion Valarie Allman took gold with 69.80m from her fifth round effort.

Yaime Perez of Cuba, who had thrown 73.09m last week - the best mark ever registered in the event since 1990 - hurled 68.83m in the opening round to finish second.

Elsewhere, American sprinter Christian Coleman clocked 10.13s to win the men's 100m, while Pedro Pichardo of Portugal leaped 17.51 to take the men's triple jump victory.

Women's 5,000m world record holder Gudaf Tsegay led an all-Ethiopian podium finish in the 1,500m race, passing the line with a world-leading and personal best mark of 3:50.30.

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