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Duplantis breaks world record to win gold; hosts USA complete historic haul

It had to end with a world record and a gold for the incredible Swedish athlete who is rewriting history books every step of the way. Sweden’s Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis completed his medal collection as he dominated the pole vault for world gold in a new world record on Sunday.

Olympic champion Duplantis, seeking an elusive first world title, triumphed with a best of 6.21 meters, bettering by 1cm his previous best set when winning gold at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March.

During the event he also overtook Sergey Bubka’s record for most 6.00m-plus clearances in the history of athletics.

American Chris Nilsen took silver with a bet of 5.94m on countback from Ernest Obiang, whose bronze was a first world medal of any color for the Philippines.

Sydney McLaughlin anchored the United States to gold in the women’s 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on Sunday.

McLaughlin, who produced an electrifying world record-breaking display to win the 400m hurdles on Friday, stormed home on the final leg as the US quartet won in 3min 17.79sec.

Jamaica won silver in 3:20.74 while Britain took bronze in 3:22.64.

The US victory also assured Allyson Felix of a record 20th world championship medal. Felix did not race in the final but took part in the heats on Saturday.

Mu Gold

Athing Mu held off a fierce late challenge from Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson to add World Athletics Championships 800m gold to her Tokyo Olympic crown on Sunday.

The 20-year-old American star was forced to dig deep to hold off Hodgkinson in a thrilling battle down the final straight at Eugene’s Hayward Field before taking gold in a world-leading 1min 56.30sec.

Hodgkinson, who took silver behind Mu at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, finished second once again in 1:56.38, while Kenya’s Mary Moraa took bronze in 1:56.71.

Mu has been virtually invincible since bursting onto the international scene as a teenager last year, capturing gold medals in the 800m and 4x400m relay at the Tokyo Olympics.

The main question heading into this year’s World Championships was whether Britain’s Hodgkinson, also only 20, could make enough of an improvement to threaten the American star.

In a tense final on Sunday, Mu hit the front on the final lap and looked to be in complete control as she edged clear on the final bend.

But she allowed Hodgkinson a glimmer of daylight on the inside and the British runner rallied furiously as the finish line approached.

Mu, however, was equal to the challenge and held on to become the first American woman to win a world 800m title.

USA created history for the best medal haul in a single edition of the World Championships. India finished 33rd with their best ever performance as well, thanks to Neeraj Chopra’s silver and a few other finalists.

Record for Amusan

Unheralded Nigerian Tobi Amusan had earlier stolen the show with two electric runs on her way to gold in the 100m hurdles.

In the very first event of a loaded evening of track, people had barely had a chance to sit down with their sodas and popcorn before Amusan rocketed to a new world record of 12.12 seconds in the semifinals.

When she reook to the track later in the session, the Nigerian stormed to victory in 12.06sec, although a tailwind speed of 2.5 meters per second meant it wouldn’t go down in the freshly-inked record books.

β€œThe goal was to come out and to win this gold. I just did it,” said Amusan, who finished ahead of Jamaica’s Britany Anderson and Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico.

β€œI believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships.”

Another gold medalist from last year’s Tokyo Olympics, Malaika Mihambo, won Germany a long-awaited medal as she retained her world long jump title.

But Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei floundered in a 5000m race won convincingly by Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who bounced back from the disappointment of silver in the 1500m.

β€œI didn’t want a sprint finish,” Ingebrigtsen said. β€œI wanted to prove that I’m a better runner than the rest of the guys.

β€œIt was a great race. I ran it, I needed it. I felt really good today, but 5km is really tough.”

In the absence through injury of Olympic champion Damian Warner of Canada, France’s Kevin Mayer seized the moment to claim a second world decathlon gold.

Mayer accrued 8,816 points after 10 disciplines over two days to follow up on previous world gold in 2017 in London.

With AFP reporting

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