Tag Archives: Armand Duplantis

Men’s and women’s European Athlete of the Year finalists announced

With 10 days until the Golden Tracks award ceremony takes place in Lausanne, Switzerland on 16 October, we can announce the three finalists for the men’s and women’s European Athlete of the Year.

The shortlist includes both the 2019 European Athletes of the Year Mariya Lasitskene and Karsten Warholm, both of whom won gold medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games and trophies in the Diamond League final in Zurich.

The shortlist was determined by a four-part voting process which incorporates votes from fans across social media, Member Federations, media and an expert European Athletics panel. Each section constituted 25 percent of the vote.

Sifan Hassan (The Netherlands)

Sifan Hassan almost pulled off the unthinkable feat of winning three individual gold medals at the same Olympics. Hassan won the 5000m and 10,000m titles but the Dutchwoman came up narrowly short in the 1500m, settling for bronze behind Faith Kipyegon and Laura Muir.

Hassan’s pre-Olympic campaign was highlighted by a world 10,000m record of 29:06.82 in Hengelo – a mark which was beaten on the same track only two days later by Letesenbet Gidey – and while her exploits in Tokyo had understandably caught up her, the seemingly indefitagle Hassan still finished her season with a flourish.

After winning over 5000m in Eugene, Hassan ran one of the fastest mile times in history in Brussels with 4:14.74 before finishing a close second to Kipyegon over 1500m in the Diamond League final in Zurich.

Mariya Lasitskene (Authorised Neutral Athlete / Russia)

Mariya Lasitskene has won multiple world and European titles both indoors and outdoors but an Olympic medal was conspicuously absent from her collection.

Still a junior at the time of the 2012 Olympics, Lasitskene missed out on selection for London and the blanket ban on Russian athletes meant Lasitskene was absent from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Troubled by a knee injury all season, Lasitskene only qualified for the final by virtue of a third-time clearance at 1.95m but the Russian showed her immense competitive mettle by clearing season’s best of 2.02m and then 2.04m to seal the title.

Lasitskene, who was the 2019 European Athlete of the Year, then went on to clear 2.05m in the Diamond League final in Zurich. Will she become just the second athlete after Dafne Schippers (2014-15) to win the award in back-to-back editions?

Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland)

Like Lasitskene, Anita Wlodarczyk was on the comeback trail from injury but the seasoned campaigner had timed her peak to perfection.

The world record-holder created history at the Olympic Games in Tokyo by becoming the first female athlete to win three successive gold medals in the same event, clinching a third gold medal in the hammer with a winning mark of 78.48m – her best mark in three years.

Armand Duplantis (Sweden)

His world record of 6.18m remains just beyond his reach for now but Armand Duplantis achieved a record for consistency at the highest level, clearing six metres or higher in no fewer than 12 competitions indoors and outdoors.

His indoor season was highlighted by a 6.10m clearance in Belgrade, a precursor to another title at the European Indoor Championships in Torun where he cleared 6.05m to take ownership of the championship record in the arena in which he broke the world record for the first time in 2020.

Duplantis suffered two unexpected losses outdoors but the American-based Swede won every significant competition including gold at the Olympic Games with 6.02m and the Diamond League final in Zurich with 6.06m.

Duplantis has previously been a winner at the Golden Tracks. He was named joint men’s Rising Star in 2018 alongside Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen following their incredible exploits at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin.

Lamont Marcell Jacobs (Italy)

The men’s sprinting scene was thrust wide open this season and the vastly improving Lamont Marcell Jacobs duly filled this void with two scintillating performances in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics.

Having broken the 10 second-barrier ahead of Tokyo, Jacobs eclipsed the European record with a 9.83 clocking in the semifinal before storming to gold in the final in 9.80. Further success came at the end of the championships as Jacobs ran the second leg of Italy’s gold medal-winning team in the 4x100m.

Jacobs gave notice of what was to come this summer by dominating the 60m at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun where he won gold in a world lead of 6.47. He also caught the attention of eagle-eyed track fans with a scintillating 8.91 split at the World Relays in Silesia.

Karsten Warholm (Norway)

Karsten Warholm raced lightly in 2021 but his performances were of a stratospheric standard.

Warholm clinched the world record from Kevin Young, appropriately on home soil at the Bislett Games in Oslo with 46.70 but the Norwegian tore his record asunder at the Olympic Games in Tokyo where he broke through the 46 second-barrier with 45.94 – a respectable time even for the 400m flat!

For the third successive season, Warholm enjoyed an unbeaten campaign in the 400m hurdles. He also took notable wins in Monaco and Berlin as well as in Zurich at the Diamond League final.

At 25, Warholm is one of the few athletes to have won both the Rising Star award and the men’s European Athlete of the Year award. Will he win again in Lausanne?

Source: european-athletics.com

Timothy Cheruiyot and Faith Kipyegon are the top ranked Africans in the latest world rankings

World Athletics devised a new global ranking system where athletes score points on a combination of result and place depending on the level of the competition in which the result is achieved. The ranking is based on an average score over a number of competitions over a period of time.

The African continent has managed to get two athletes who have been included in the overall ranking with two times Olympics gold medallist Faith Kipyegon ranked number four in women overall with

Timothy Cheruiyot who is the Olympic silver medallist ranked number nine.

Norways Karsten Warholm and Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands have been ranked as the top athletes in the world.

The rankings pre-Olympics actually help determined what athletes made up the final spots in Japan and were no doubt a reason why the qualifying standards were harder than normal to put a greater importance on the rankings system.

World Athletics has now updated the rankings taking into account the Olympic results on the rankings published on August 18 and then again a few days after the Eugene meeting a week later and they make interesting reading but to some still need a tinkering with.

Ironically the rankings are a better reflection of athletes abilities after Oregon than they were after the Olympics which suggests the organisation hasn’t quite got their priorities right.

When athletes win Olympic golds in the fastest time of the year such as Elaine Thompson-Herah at 100m, Athing Mu at 800m and Sydney McLaughlin and 400m hurdles they should be the world no.1 rather than a very consistent athlete with a better set of marks?

Overall men
while most attention has been on the ranking in individual events, there is an overall ranking and it’s no surprise that Karsten Warholm is now regarded as the top overall athlete from fellow Scandinavian Armand Duplantis. World shot record-breaker Ryan Crouser moved from fifth to third after Eugene moving ahead of Canadians Damian Warner and Andre de Grasse.

1 Karsten Warholm (NOR) 1539
2 Armand Duplantis (SWE) 1535
3 Ryan Crouser (USA) 1500
4 Andre de Grasse (CAN) 1491
5 Damian Warner (CAN) 1473
6 Alison Dos Santos (BRA) 1466
7 Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR) 1465
8 Rai Benjamin (USA) 1463
9 Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN) 1444
10 Kenny Bednarek (USA) 1443

 Overall women
Thanks to her versatility from 1500m to 10,000m, Sifan Hassan is comfortably top woman from fellow double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah who has closed the gap significantly after her Eugene run. A recent world record-breaker Yulimar Rojas is not surprisingly third but it does not quite seem right and Femke Bol was fourth overall after the Olympics even though she was clearly only third best at her best event but she lost two places to Faith Kipyegon and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after their Eugene efforts with the Jamaican likely to move up further after her Lausanne win in next week’s rankings.

1 Sifan Hassan (NED) 1534
2 Elaine Thompson-Herah (JAM) 1515
3 Yulimar Rojas (VEN) 1475
4 Faith Kipyegon (KEN) 1474
5 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) 1458
6 Femke Bol (NED) 1455
7 Katie Nageotte (USA) 1444
8 Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PUR) 1433
9 Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 1430
10 Hyvin Kiyeng (KEN) 1429


Top 10 moments of Berlin 2018

Pure Dina-mite

Dina Asher-Smith’s scintillating sprint speed and beaming smile lit up the championships. The 22-year-old was untouchable in Berlin with world-leading marks and British records at 100m and 200m before anchoring the GB 4x100m team to gold on the final night to seal a hat-trick of titles.

Asher-Smith is a joy to watch and at the height of her powers. Or is she? For perhaps Doha 2019 and Tokyo 2020 will see her deliver even greater results.


If winning the 1500m aged 17 wasn’t amazing enough, Jakob Ingebrigtsen completed a phenomenal double by taking 5000m gold in emphatic style 24 hours later.

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, 17, beats brother to complete golden double at European Athletics Championships. Photo: Getty Images

He’s not even old enough to drive a car or buy a beer in his native Norway but in Berlin he breezed away from his rivals in both races and even had the confidence to high-five his brother, Henrik, part-way through the 5000m.

Prodigious pole vaulting

This was a championships where two youngsters redefined what is possible as a teenager in athletics. After Ingebrigtsen’s double gold, Armand Duplantis, who is 10 months older than the Norwegian and a mere 18 years old, first cleared a world under-20 record of 6.00m and then sailed over 6.05m to stun a German crowd that notably appreciated track and field events in equal measure.

Celebrating in style

Nothing helps boost the atmosphere at an athletics event more than host nation success. So when German javelin throwers Thomas Rohler and Andreas Hofmann finished one-two in the men’s javelin, the crowd was guaranteed to go crazy.

Rohler celebrated by leaping into the steeplechase water before delivering one of the quotes of the championships. “We have so many strong throwers because we share knowledge,” he said, “we put our heads together, the secret is not to have secrets.”

Marathon drama

Berlin is famed for its super-fast marathon in September, but the European Championship women’s race last weekend was full of drama when winner Volha Mazuronak first suffered a gory, mid-race nose bleed before later almost veering off in the wrong direction when going toe to toe with Clémence Calvin in the closing stages.

Volha Mazuronak won the women’s marathon at the European Championship in Berlin

Clash of the titans

The head-to-head of the championships, for me, came in the heptathlon. Many felt Nafi Thiam, the Olympic and world champion, would be a class apart, but it was closer than most imagined as Katarina Johnson-Thompson put up a terrific fight.

Even when needing a seemingly impossible 14-second victory over the Belgian in the climactic 800m, Johnson-Thompson ran with bold, front-running tactics as she sent out a strong message ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Doha next year.

Long jump battle

Malaika Mihambo delighted her home crowd by taking women’s long jump gold but the event featured a tremendous scrap for medals with Maryna Bekh of Ukraine and Shara Proctor and Jazmin Sawyers of Britain producing their biggest marks in a dramatic final round.

Malaika Mihambo delighted her home crowd by taking women’s long jump gold. Photo: Getty Images

Sawyers was the unlucky athlete to miss out on a podium place but won a gold medal for sportsmanship by going up to Bekh to congratulate her only seconds after the Ukrainian had nudged her out of a medal position.

Thrills and spills

There was another good-natured moment in the women’s 800m rounds when Renee Eykens of Belgium fell dramatically in the closing stages of her race only to be consoled and helped up by the winner, Nataliya Pryshchepa. The Ukrainian was rewarded for her sportsmanship, too, as she went on to win gold in the final.

Hudson-Smith’s superb semi-final

British 400m runner Matt Hudson-Smith was an emphatic winner in the one-lap final but rich potential was probably more evident in the semi-finals when he looked phenomenally easy coasting home in 44.76. If he maintains this form, surely it’s only a matter of time before he breaks Thomas Schonlebe’s European record of 44.33 and Iwan Thomas’s UK best of 44.36.

Berlin erupts at steeplechase victory

When Gesa Krause accelerated into the final water jump in the 3000m ’chase in the final session on Sunday, her home crowd went crazy. The 26-year-old produced a brilliant climax to the championships for the hosts as she stormed past Fabienne Schlumpf of Switzerland to take the title. Germany enjoyed a great week, too, with six golds and 17 medals but Krause was the nation’s only track winner.

Five areas for improvement

It was a brilliant championship but not perfect and here are some parts that could have been improved.

» Some of the timetabling was bizarre, such as scheduling the women’s 400m final on the same evening as the women’s 4x400m final.

» Making some athletes compete in an extra round was unfair and, at times, pointless. The qualifying round of the men’s 110m hurdles, for example, saw just three out of sixteen athletes eliminated.

» The European Championships is a superb event when it does not have to compete with the Olympic Games. But it lost its lustre in 2016 and the same will happen in 2020 when the main goal for athletes will be Tokyo. In a crowded calendar, once every four years is surely best.

» It looks faintly ridiculous to see the “I run clean” anti-doping logo on the chest of throwers, jumpers and especially race walkers. Is it really too hard to put “I jump/throw/walk clean” on the bib numbers instead?

» The creators of ‘Dynamic New Athletics’ probably thought they’d picked a great moment to launch their idea by announcing it during the European Championships but many were left non-plussed by the concept (which includes an assault course-style race with sled and parachute pulling) especially when the (traditional) track and field in Berlin was so entertaining anyway.

Source: athleticsweekly.com

New generation of rising stars hoping to emerge at IAAF World Under-20 Championships

Athletics will continue its hunt for a fresh megastar when the World Under-20 Championships begin tomorrow in the Finnish city of Tampere.

A total of 1,466 athletes – 782 men and 684 women – are entered spanning 158 federations plus an Athlete Refugee Team and an Authorized Neutral Athletes team of eligible Russians.

This means it is the third largest edition of the showpiece International Association of Athletics Federations-organised junior event.

Only the 2012 edition in Barcelona and the 2016 event in Bydgoszcz have involved more athletes.

Competition is due to take place over six days at the Ratina Stadium.

Major contenders include Ethiopian distance runner Selemon Barega, who finished second over 5,000 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday (July 5) despite his fellow countryman Yomif Kejelcha grabbing him by his shorts and attempting to pull him into lane three with a lap to go.

He will start as 5,000m favourite after winning the 3,000m at last year’s World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi.

Other reigning world youth champions including Jamaica’s 400m rising star Christopher Taylor and South Africa’s 400m hurdles hope Sokwakhana Zazini are being billed as other big hopes to make the step up.

Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis, who has already cleared 5.93 metres, and Cuban triple jumper Jordan Diaz are other headline entries.

Samantha Watson is among top US contenders in the 800m while Kenya’s Celliphine Chepteek Chespol will be the favourite in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase.

Sweden will target more pole vault success courtesy of Lisa Gunnarsson while Moldova’s discus star Alexandra Emilianov is a big throwing hope.



10 athletes to Watch at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018

Hundreds of promising athletes will be in Finland for the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 from 10-15 July.

Our event-by-event previews cover all the main medal contenders, but here are 10 particularly exciting talents to follow next week.


1 Oct 1999The diminutive Jamaican sprinter was one of the star performers at the IAAF World U18 Championships Cali 2015, where he sped to a world age-15 best of 45.27 to win the 400m.

A brief injury spell meant that Taylor was not at his best at the last World U20 Championships, but this season he has set national U20 records at 100m (10.11) and 400m (44.88). His 200m PB of 20.35, meanwhile, puts him second on the Jamaican U20 all-time list behind Usain Bolt.

2015 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2015 World U18 Championships: 400m 1st
2016 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x100m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: 4x400m 3rd
2017 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x100m 1st, 4x400m 2nd
2017 Pan-American Junior Championships: 200m 1st, 4x100m 2nd, 4x400m 2nd
2018 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x100m 1st, 4x400m 1st

Progression (100m, 200m, 400m)
2014: -, -, 48.80
2015: -, 20.78, 45.27
2016: 10.44, 20.80, 45.66
2017: -, 20.38, 45.41
2018: 10.11, 20.35, 44.88


20 Jan 2000

He still has another full season left as an U20 athlete, but the Ethiopian teenager has already established himself as one of the best distance runners in the world.

Barega was a relative unknown when he won the world U20 5000m title in 2016. Now a regular on the international circuit, he heads to Tampere with the aim of becoming the first man in history to win back-to-back world U20 titles in the 5000m.

2016 East African U20 Championships: 5000m 3rd
2016 World U20 Championships: 5000m 1st
2017 World Cross Country Championships: U20 race 5th
2017 African U20 Championships: 5000m 1st
2017 World U18 Championships: 3000m 1st
2017 World Championships: 5000m 5th
2018 World Indoor Championships: 3000m 2nd

Progression (3000m, 5000m)
2015: -, 13:58.8
2016: -, 13:21.21
2017: 7:38.90, 12:55.58
2018: 7:36.64i, 13:02.67


23 Sep 2000

The South African 400m hurdler set a world U18 best of 48.84 in 2017 and went on to win the world U18 title in Nairobi, finishing almost three seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Now in his first year as an U20 athlete, Zazini continues to impress in both one-lap events. Earlier this year he reduced his PBs to 45.86 for the 400m flat and 49.32 over the senior height 400m hurdles.

2017 World U18 Championships: 400m hurdles 1st, 4x400m 3rd

Progression (pole vault)
2014: -, 52.76 (U18)
2015: -, 53.05 (U18)
2016: 47.23, 50.85 (U18)
2017: 46.20, 48.84 (U18)
2018: 45.86, 49.32


10 Nov 1999

Few athletes in history have achieved as much while an U20 athlete as Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis.

Born into a pole vaulting family, the USA-based Swede has set countless age-group records on his rapid rise to the top. He now owns the eight best vaults in history at the U20 level, indoors and out, topped by his lifetime best of 5.93m.

2015 World U18 Championships: pole vault 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: pole vault 3rd
2017 European U20 Championships: pole vault 1st
2017 World Championships: pole vault 9th
2018 World Indoor Championships: pole vault 7th

Progression (pole vault)
2013: 4.15
2014: 4.75i
2015: 5.30
2016: 5.51
2017: 5.90
2018: 5.93


23 Feb 2001

The Cuban production line of horizontal jumpers shows no signs of slowing down; in fact, Jordan Diaz could well be one of the brightest talents the country has ever produced.

He bounded out to a world U18 best of 17.30m to win the world U18 title in Nairobi last year and extended that mark to 17.41m in Havana last month. The 17-year-old sits at third on the world U20 all-time list and still has another two years in the age group.

2017 World U18 Championships: triple jump 1st

Progression (triple jump)
2015: 15.02
2016: 15.65
2017: 17.30
2018: 17.41


10 Nov 1999

An impressive range and a smart tactical racing brain makes Samantha Watson one of the most exciting middle-distance prospects to come from the USA.

She showed no fear when winning the 800m titles at the 2015 World U18 Championships and 2016 World U20 Championships, despite being the youngest in the field on both occasions.

2015 World U18 Championships: 800m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: 800m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2018 NCAA Indoor Championships: 800m 3rd
2018 NCAA Championships: 800m 1st

Progression (400m, 800m)
2014: 54.93, 2:15.99
2015: 52.69, 2:03.54
2016: 53.21, 2:02.91
2017: 55.76i, 2:00.65
2018: 54.77, 2:01.46


23 Mar 1999

Although she was already the world U18 and U20 champion, the Kenyan steeplechaser produced one of the biggest surprises of the 2017 season when she set a world U20 record of 8:58.78 in Eugene, making her the second-fastest woman in history.

Now a regular competitor on the international circuit, Chespol owns the six fastest times in history at the U20 level.

2015 World U18 Championships: 2000m steeplechase 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: 3000m steeplechase 1st
2017 World Cross Country Championships: U20 race 3rd
2017 World Championships: 3000m steeplechase 6th
2018 African Cross Country Championships: senior race 1st
2018 Commonwealth Games: 3000m steeplechase 2nd

Progression (3000m steeplechase)
2015: 10:18.3
2016: 9:24.73
2017: 8:58.78
2018: 9:01.82


20 Aug 1999

She has jumped higher than any U18 pole vaulter in history, and now the 18-year-old is aiming to cap her U20 career by taking her first global title.

The globe-trotting Swede has spent time living in Sweden, Argentina, Luxemburg, France and is now based in the USA. Having set a world U18 best of 4.50m in 2016, her PB now stands at 4.60m – the highest vault in the world this year by an U20 athlete.

2015 European U20 Championships: pole vault 5th
2016 World U20 Championships: pole vault 7th
2017 European Indoor Championships: pole vault 6th
2017 European U20 Championships: pole vault 1st

Progression (pole vault)
2014: 3.91
2015: 4.25
2016: 4.50
2017: 4.55
2018: 4.60


20 May 1999

USA has never won a medal of any colour in the women’s long jump at the World U20 Championships, but Tara Davis looks poised to end that drought.

Davis is a talented hurdler and triple jumper but truly excels in the long jump, an event in which she won the 2015 world U18 title and has a best of 6.73m.

2015 World U18 Championships: long jump 1st, triple jump 9th
2017 Pan-American U20 Championships: long jump 1st, 100m hurdles 2nd, 4x100m 1st
2018 NCAA Indoor Championships: long jump 3rd, 60m hurdles 6th
2018 NCAA Championships: long jump 5th

Progression (100m hurdles, long jump, triple jump)
2014: 14.50 (14.26w), 6.03, 12.12 (12.14w)
2015: 13.48, 6.41, 13.01
2016: 13.62 (13.38w), 6.37i, 13.16
2017: 12.95 (12.83w), 6.73 (6.80w), 13.20
2018: 13.09 (13.04w), 6.71, 12.89i



19 Sep 1999

Since winning the world U18 title in Cali three years ago, Moldova’s Alexandra Emilianov has been one of the most prolific athletes in international age-group championships.

Having also won U18 and U20 titles at the Balkan and European level, the only major gold medal left for Emilianov to win as a teenager is the world U20 title.

2015 World U18 Championships: discus 1st
2016 Balkan U18 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st
2016 European U18 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: discus 3rd
2017 Balkan U20 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st
2017 European U20 Championships: discus 1st
2018 NCAA Championships: discus 12th
2018 Balkan U20 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st

Progression (shot put, discus)
2014: 11.90, 47.05
2015: 14.12 (15.37 U18), 52.78
2016: 14.76i (18.50 U18), 58.09
2017: 15.86i, 57.10
2018: 15.63i, 60.24