Duplantis bids to end annus mirabilis on a high

·4 min read

Pole vault king Mondo Duplantis has vowed to bring his enthralling season to a more satisfactory end at Thursday's Diamond League final in Zurich after suffering a rare defeat in Brussels last week.

On the back of winning Olympic gold at last year's Tokyo Games, the US-born Swede has gone on to totally dominate his event this year, winning the world indoor title in Belgrade in March and world outdoor gold in Oregon in July.

Both titles were claimed in world record heights of 6.20 and 6.21 metres respectively.

In a dream summer, Duplantis also sealed European gold in Munich before failing three times at 5.91m in Brussels to break a 17-strong season win streak and hand Filipino Ernest John Obiena a shock victory.

"It's rare for me to jump the way I did. Maybe I needed a bit of a wake-up call," conceded Duplantis.

"We're humans, we make mistakes sometimes and I think that showed definitely for me last week in Brussels.

"Failure is important: I've learned a lot of things over my career from my major losses that I've had and I think that's been some of the most important things for me to get to where I am today.

"So try and take the right things from when you mess up, realise where you messed up and try to learn, that's the most important thing.

"I feel like I've taken the right things away from it and I'm ready for tomorrow."

Duplantis is one of three world record holders on show in Zurich along with Nigerian 100m hurdler Tobi Amusan and triple jump queen Yulimar Rojas of Venezula.

There are loaded fields in the sprints, Jamaica's 'pocket rocket' Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce again going head-to-head in the 100m with world 200m champion Shericka Jackson.

Jackson beat Fraser-Pryce over the shorter distance in Brussels, the five-time champion insisting, however, thigh contractions that saw her miss Lausanne were behind her.

Jackson plans to double in the 200m, with Switzerland's newly-minted European champion Mujinga Kambundji her likeliest rival. "It's long enough!" Jackson joked of the short time (80 minutes) between the two events.

"I want to challenge myself and I think this place is the best place to do it. The competition here is always good."

Fraser-Pryce, unusually making her debut in Zurich at the age of 35, added: "It's been an incredible season.

"Having the competition is a plus. Every time I step in a race so far this season, Shericka has consistently been doing a personal best!

"With that high level of high competition, at any given time when you get to the line you can expect something good because these ladies are going to come.

- Still springy! -

Two-time world champion Noah Lyles of the United States headlines the men's 200m as he bids for a fifth Diamond League trophy.

Winners of the 32 disciplines, six to be decided in a city event on Wednesday, also bag $30,000 (30,300 euros), while in addition there are wildcard entries up for grabs for next year's World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Lyles remarked it had "definitely been a long year", before insisting he was not fatigued after what he said had been a season in which he filled a sprint vacuum.

"I don't feel tired, I feel springy, ready to go," said Lyles. "In this world of track and field and sprints, I see myself as leading the way."

Dutch hopes ride on 400m hurdler Femke Bol, who was arguably the stand-out performer at the European champs as she secured three golds in Munich.

The Olympic bronze medallist had to settle for silver behind world record holder Sydney McLaughlin in Eugene, but in the American's absence, Bol will be hot favourite in Zurich with Dalilah Muhammad her closest rival.

Middle-distance events sees Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the world 5,000m champion and Olympic and European 1,500m gold medallist, competing in the latter at what is expected to be a sold-out Letzigrund Stadium.

Ingebrigtsen, still only 21, was forced to swallow a bitter pill when he was beaten to world 1,500m gold in Oregon by Britain's Jake Wightman.

The Briton has since stepped down a distance to the 800m, notching up an impressive victory in Brussels over Kenya's world and Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir.

There will be hopes for a British double in the two-lap race as European gold medallist Keely Hodgkinson takes on Korir's teammate Mary Moraa, who beat her to the Commonwealth title in Birmingham.

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