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How a USATF Loophole Allowed Mondo Duplantis to Break the American Record

A strange thing happened in the men’s pole vault at the European Athletics Championships last month in Berlin.

Well, three strange things.

The first: 18-year-old Mondo Duplantis put the beatdown on a slew of experienced professional athletes—including world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France—to win his first senior-level European Championship title. The second: Duplantis cleared a jaw-dropping 6.05 meter jump to accomplish the feat, which ranks as a new world junior record and the fourth-best outdoor mark in world history.

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