The World Indoor Tour season continued in fine style on Sunday, January 31, with pole vault star Mondo Duplantis and world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith among the winners at the silver-level ISTAF Indoor Düsseldorf meeting.

Sweden’s Duplantis opened his 2020 indoor season with a 6.00m clearance in Düsseldorf and went on to enjoy a world record-breaking month as he cleared 6.17m in Toruń and then 6.18m in Glasgow.

So his winning 6.01m mark this time around certainly bodes well and he even had the bar raised to 6.19m but ran through his first attempt before calling it a day.

The world silver medallist and European champion opened with 5.52m before a further first-time clearance at 5.72m. He needed two tries at 5.86m but then soared over 5.91m on his first go and had the bar raised to his eventual world leading and meeting record height, which he managed on his second attempt.

Germany’s Torben Blech had the performance of his career so far to secure second place, with the former decathlete sinking to his knees in reaction to his outright PB of 5.86m. His previous best had been 5.80m, while he cleared an indoor PB of 5.72m a couple of days earlier in Karlsruhe.

The USA’s two-time world champion Sam Kendricks was third with 5.81m, the same height managed by Menno Vloon for a Dutch indoor record.

“Me in Düsseldorf, me in Germany, I don’t know – there is just something special when I am here and I feel like I always seem to jump high and get over six metres,” said Duplantis after his strong season debut.

“It felt really good to be back competing. Of course, I felt a little rusty and the run needed a little bit more work on the consistency but I am really happy with the 6.01m, the world lead, and it seems like things are going in the right direction.”

On attempting 6.19m, he added: “There’s such a difference between six metres and when you start getting to like 6.19m, the world record, and I just felt inconsistent on my run. I knew what I needed to do and what kind of bigger poles I need to get on to make 6.19m and I just didn’t have that in me today so I said ‘I’ll live to see another day’.”

Like Blech, Britain’s Asher-Smith was another athlete back in action after opening her season at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe and she secured a second 60m final win in three days.

After equalling her PB with 7.08m – a mark just 0.02 off the British record – during her first indoor competition since 2018 in Karlsruhe, the 25-year-old clocked 7.12 to win the final in Düsseldorf after a 7.15 heat victory.

Source: Jessica Whittington