Duplantis sets sights on hat-trick of European titles

Armand Duplantis aims to add another gold medal to an overflowing trophy cabinet

Gold medallist Armand Duplantis of Sweden poses on the podium of the men's pole vault medal ceremony in Munich in 2022

Armand Duplantis has set his sights on making it a hat-trick of European titles in Rome next month as he continues to rewrite the pole vault record books.

The pole-vaulter has enjoyed another banner year so far, continuing his remarkable ascendancy in the sport by capturing another World Indoor gold medal in Glasgow and breaking his own world record after clearing 6.24m in Xiamen, China last month.

And with the European Athletics Championships set to take place in the Eternal City, the 24-year-old expressed his eagerness to defend his title, having emerged victorious in Berlin 2018 and Munich 2022.

Speaking on European Athletics’ new podcast series Ignite, Duplantis said: ''I'm super excited for Rome.

''The Olympic Stadium in Rome is one I have already jumped very high at with that 6.15 in 2020 and I think that just kind of makes the excitement even more, because I know it's a really good place to jump.

''I love warm weather, I love jumping in warm weather and I think that's going to help me even more too.

''Also, it's just Rome, which is a sick city.

''It's going to be good vibes all around.

''It's Euros, so it's going to be a big competition for us and one that you want to mark on your calendar that you want to jump extra good at.

''Any time that I'm representing Sweden, I want to make sure I come home with the gold.

''I'll be making sure I'm primed and ready for it.''

A pole-vaulting prodigy, Duplantis announced himself to the public by capturing his first senior European title in Berlin 2018, supplanting Olympic gold medallist, three-time European champion and then-world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France in the process.

In the years since, Duplantis' star has continued to rise, with the 24-year old earning Olympic gold in Tokyo 2020, two World Championship golds, another European title in Munich 2022 and one European Indoor gold.

And as Duplantis aims to add another gold medal to an overflowing trophy cabinet, it all began in Berlin 2018 for the champion athlete.

He recalled: ''Definitely the most life-changing and career-changing competition that I have ever had, was in Berlin.

''It was surreal. I can still remember every literal moment to this day. I knew that I was capable of going in there and being able to fight for the gold.

''But being able to jump six metres for the first time, jumping that 6.05 bar in such an insanely intense competitive competition, also where everybody was jumping at such a crazy high level, and I was just only aged 18 years old at the time, which was pretty wild to think about.

''It was my first senior medal and senior gold medal at that.

''To me, it solidified in my mind that I can hang with anybody in the world.''

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