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Sweden's Duplantis soars 6.17m to break pole vault world record

(Reuters) - World silver medalist Mondo Duplantis realized a lifetime dream when he broke the pole vault world record on Saturday by soaring 6.17 meters on his second attempt at a World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Torun in Poland.

FILE PHOTO: Sweden's Armand Duplantis is seen in action in the Doha 2019 World Athletics Championships Mens Pole Vault Final in Doha, Qatar, October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

American-born Swede Duplantis broke Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie’s record of 6.16m set in February 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine.

“It’s something that I wanted since I was three years old,” said the 20-year-old. “It’s a big year, but it’s a good way to start it.”

He broke the record on his sixth jump of the competition, having narrowly failed to clear the same height in Dusseldorf on Tuesday when he brushed the bar on his way down.

Duplantis had the runway all to himself for much of the evening as none of the other six competitors could vault higher than 5.52m.

The wunderkind in the pole vault who began setting age group records at age seven opened his day at 5.52m, then cleared 5.72, 5.92 and a indoor lifetime best 6.01 without a miss.

Although born in the U.S. state of Louisiana, he chose to represent his mother’s native country of Sweden.

His father Greg, who is his coach, was a talented U.S. pole vaulter.

His mother, Helena, is a former heptathlete and volleyball player in Sweden.

After celebrating his victory, Duplantis, whose given name is Armand, went to the edge of the stands and embraced his mother.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar