Note: The following story was initially published at LSUsports.net.
Baton Rouge, La. - Former LSU superstar Mondo Duplantis has been announced as one of five finalists for Male World Athlete of the Year in the sport of track and field.
Duplantis set his first pole vault world record of the year on February 8 in Torun, Poland, when he cleared 6.17 meters indoors at the Orlen Copernicus Cup. It broke Renaud Lavillenie's prior world record of 6.16 meters that was set in 2014.
"I've wanted to break the world record since I was three years old," Duplantis said that day following his record-breaking jump. "There's no secret to what I do; I just put in a lot of hard work. I can't thank my parents enough for helping me to get to where I'm at now. All the support I had from everybody is the reason why I did this."
Just one week later he upped his indoor world record to 6.18 meters in Glasgow at the Muller Grand Prix. The clearance of 6.18 meters is equivalent to 20' 3.25" in American standards. On September 17 he became the outdoor pole vault world record holder with a clearance of 6.15 meters at the Diamond League Rome meeting. The 6.15 meter clearance bumped off Sergey Bubka's world record of 6.14 meters that had stood since 1994.
All in all, Mondo was perfect in 2020 with a unblemished record of 16-0 in pole vault events. He joins Joshua Cheptegei, Ryan Crouser, Johannes Vetter, and Karsten Warholm as finalists for Male World Athlete of the Year.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2020 to be staged as a virtual event on 5 December and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel, its Facebook page and via Twitter.
A full release can be viewed at worldathletics.org.