Pole vault star Duplantis welcomes Olympics postponement but says it's a "bummer"Record ID: 1465530
- Title: Pole vault star Duplantis welcomes Olympics postponement but says it's a "bummer"
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) 50M FREESTYLE WORLD RECORD HOLDER, SWIMMER, SARAH SJOSTROM, SAYING: "I mean, it's the best decision at the moment, I mean they need to think about people's health, that's the first priority. So, we couldn't expect anything else now, and it's important that they move the Olympics because so many athletes are not, have not been able to prepare. You know, they haven't been able to do their qualification competition or Olympic trials and so on, and a lot of athletes also don't have access to the training venues, and it's not fair if everyone can't prepare the best way."
- Keywords: IOC Japan Mondo Duplantis Olympics Sarah Sjostrom Swedish Olympic Committee coronavirus
- Reuters ID: LVA006C6EXJRB
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: Sweden
- Duration: 00:00:42
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Olympics,Sport
- Story Text: Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis described the postponement of the Tokyo Games as a "bummer", having set his sights on gold after breaking the world record twice this year.
The 20-year-old Duplantis, who is currently staying at the home of his American father and Swedish mother in Lafayette, Louisiana, is trying to make the best of the situation after the Games were postponed to 2021.
"It's a bummer, it's a bummer that I won't be able to compete in the Olympics this year, but you have to understand the situation, understand that some things are a little bigger than sport, and I guess we'll have it next year," he told Reuters in a Skype call.
The Covid-19 pandemic has limited Duplantis's ability to train, forcing him to get creative.
"I pretty much just train in the backyard, we have a little track out here ... we're fixing it up a little bit where maybe I'll be able to jump a little bit. Not too high, maybe just over four-sixty or so, but so I have the pole in my hands, get a little bit of the feeling."
Jumps of 4.60 metres are a long way short of the 6.17m and 6.18m that he cleared to break the world record twice in eight days in early February.
Swedish world champion swimmer Sarah Sjostrom meanwhile, agreed postponing the games was the best option.
"It's the best decision at the moment, I mean they need to think about people's health, that's the first priority so we couldn't expect anything else now," she said.
The Swedish Olympic Committee said it was a "wise" decision with CEO Peter Reinebo saying it was good it came early.
(Production: Philip O'Connor, Ilze Filks)
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