Check out our Flo Film on Mondo Duplantis: HERE
For nearly three months this spring, Lafayette (LA) High's Armand "Mondo" Duplantis was leading the world in the pole vault.
The 17-year-old, who set a new world junior record in the event at the Texas Relays on April 1 with a leap of 19 feet, 4.25 inches, kept that honor until June 24, when fellow American Sam Kendricks broke the mark with a height of 19-8.25 to regain the world lead at the USATF Outdoor Championships.
On Thursday, Duplantis will go head-to-head with Kendricks in his second-ever Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, starting at 1:10 PM ET.
During the event's media conference, Duplantis was asked about his previous Diamond League performance, a fourth-place finish at the Prefontaine Classic on May 27.
"That was pretty much the first competition I've had competing against elites," Duplantis said. "Renaud (Lavillenie), (Sam) Kendricks, everybody was there. It was a lot different than high school competitions.
"Instead of coming in at the bar that wins it, I'm coming in with the first height of the meet. It was kind of a whole different event for me and it was very exciting and it was something I definitely want to do again. I look forward to competing tomorrow against the same pretty much group of athletes."
When asked later about what advice he would give the young 17-year-old, Lavillenie said, "He's achived quite a few things without us already."
Kendricks later added a bit more light fare when he answered the same question.
"You can't really share that bond unless you've competed on the stage," he said. "So for Mondo here at this competition, do what you've always done."
At that point, he leaned into the 17-year-old and whispered a question of his own.
"What jersey are you going to compete in?"
Duplantis left it open-ended.
"He says we'll see," Kendricks said. "Man, this guy keeps everyone in suspense. He doesn't need my help. He's been jumping as long as I have."