OSLO: Sweden’s Armand Duplantis battled through rain and cold to dominate the men’s pole vault at the Oslo Diamond League on Thursday, while home favorite Jakob Ingebrigtsen raced to victory in the mile.
As large parts of Europe baked in unseasonably hot conditions, a soaked Duplantis came in at 5.60m and sailed over 5.80m with his closest rivals, the Norwegian pair of Sondre Guttormsen and Pal Haugen Lillefosse, both crashing out at 5.86m.
Duplantis cleared 5.92m before then setting a new meet record of 6.02m, a full 22cm ahead of the field.
“I felt good jumping despite it being a hectic day with the rain coming on and off — it was tiring coping with that but I’m happy with 6.02m,” said world record holder and Olympic champion Duplantis.
In the absence of injured 400m hurdler Karsten Warholm, all Norwegian eyes were on Ingebrigtsen in the famed ‘Dream Mile’ and he did not disappoint as he became the first home runner to win the race as five of the top seven posted personal bests.
Olympic 1500m champion Ingebrigtsen clocked a Diamond League record of 3min 46.46sec for victory, Australian Oliver Hoare coming in second in an Oceania record (3:47.48) with Briton Jake Wightman rounding out the podium.
“It felt great, I was ready to run fast and was happy to do that and to win,” the Norwegian said.
“Confidence is a really important thing in sports and I’m confident in what I do in training and of course am aiming for gold in Eugene,” the Oregon venue for the July 15-24 world championships.
Canada’s Olympic 200m gold medallist Andre de Grasse claimed the honors in the 100m, timing a season’s best of 10.05sec to edge Briton Reece Prescod by one-hundredth.
“I know my speed is coming back,” said De Grasse. “The difference is going to be that start and the first 30 meters.
“I am pretty satisfied with my first win of the season, a season’s best, but I know I still have a couple of things to work on.”
Devon Allen’s bid to race the remainder of the 110m hurdles season with sub-13 second times after his third fastest time in history in New York last week (12.84) came acropper, although his 13.22sec was enough to win the race.
“Every race I run is to win,” said Allen, who links up with NFL franchise the Philadelphia Eagles as a wide receiver after the Eugene worlds.
“13.22 in these conditions is not too bad. There was rain, the head wind.”
Dutchwoman Femke Bol stormed to victory in the women’s 400m hurdles in 52.61sec, smashing the meeting record of 53.18 set by Deon Hemmings of Jamaica back in 1997.
The Olympic bronze medallist finished more than two seconds ahead of Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova.
“I was very surprised with the time as the weather wasn’t the best and I stuttered into the last hurdle, so it was great to see that time,” said Bol.
“It means a lot to take the meeting record, next I will do the national trials and get ready for the world championships, and then try to come back well for the European championships, so it’s going to be a really busy summer but I’m ready for the challenge — I want to keep running fast and get some medals.”
Grenada’s Kirani James, the former world and Olympic champion, won the men’s 400m in 44.78sec from Botswana’s Isaac Makwala.
And there was a British one-two in the women’s 800m, Olympic silver medallist Keeley Hodgkinson clocking a season’s best of 1:57.71 to claim the victory from Laura Muir.
Hodgkinson’s focus was immediately set on the Eugene words and American Athing Mu, who claimed gold in Tokyo.
“I’m trying to take it week by week but I love championship racing and running the rounds, so I’m looking forward to Eugene,” she said.
“Athing Mu took my world lead so I want it back and I’m looking forward to facing her at the world championships.”