Duplantis wins in Lausanne to extend unbeaten run this year

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - World record holder Armand Duplantis continued his perfect record this year when he beat world champion Sam Kendricks to win a special city centre event in Lausanne on Wednesday.

In near darkness, the American-born Swede soared to 6.07 metres, his best-ever outdoor performance, to claim his 12th consecutive win of 2020, including seven outdoors and five indoors.

Both vaulters confidently cleared the previous five successive heights, from 5.82 metres to 6.02, at the first attempt before Kendricks failed at 6.07 while Duplantis again went over at the first time of asking.

Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil was third with 5.72 metres and Frenchman Renard Lavillenie, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist, was fourth, also with 5.72.

The event replaced the traditional Athletissima meeting, as organisers decided it would be better suited to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Swiss government regulations, 1,000 spectators were allowed to attend, divided into four zones to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Duplantis set a new world record of 6.17 metres indoors in Torun, Poland, earlier this year and then bettered it by one centimetre in Glasgow. World Athletics has not distinguished between the indoor and outdoor records since 2000.

Sweden’s Angelica Bengtsson won the women’s event with a vault of 4.72 metres, ahead of British record holder Holly Bradshaw (4.64m) and Swiss Angelica Moser.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis