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Pole vault. Philippe D’Encausse: “Armand Duplantis is extraordinary …”

The All Star Perche by Quartus 2020 takes place on Sunday; February 23 in Clermont-Ferrand. Former pole vaulter at 5.75 m and rival of Sergueï Bubka; Philippe D’Encausse; current physical trainer of Renaud Lavillenie (6.16 m); is the ideal specialist to talk about Armand Duplantis; current world record holder in pole vaulting (6.18 m). ).


What do the Ukrainian Sergei Bubka; the French Renaud Lavillenie and the Swede Armand Duplantis have injournaltimemon? The three broke the world pole vault record: 6.15 m (1993); 6.16 m (2014); 6.18 m (2020; current series …) The otherjournaltimemon point is another pole vault: Philippe D’Encausse. Former specialist in the discipline (5.75 m in 1993); Clermontois (52 years old) jumped with Sergei Bubka; especially at the Seoul Games; where the Ukrainian won his only Olympic gold medal; and at the Barcelona Olympics . Since September 2012 he has been Renaud Lavillenie’s coach. And when Armand Duplantis is in France; he sometimes trains him in his stronghold; in Clermont-Ferrand. An athletic background that made the finalist of the 1988 Olympic Games (8º; 5.60 m); one of the best people to talk about the dazzling progress of the Swedish prodigy (20 years).

Philippe; are you surprised by Armand’s current performance?

Surprised; no. Because we had seen the firstjournaltimepetition. In Düsseldorf; he almost broke the world record. From there; we knew it would be soon …

Even if Armand started pole vaulting at a young age; at age 4; how do you explain his current maturity in his vaults?

I even think he started at 2 years … But from junior he was 5.90 m and junior jumped to 6.05 m. So being 6.18m now; and 6.20m soon; is the logical progression for a pole vaulter of that age. With us; when you have a child who is 5.00 m or 18 years old; it is not ujournaltimemon for the following year to be 5.30 m or 5.40 m. Since he started; Armand has made the same progress. It is linear and logical.


Philippe d’Encausse

When you have a father; Greg; who was a pole vaulter; and a mother; Helena; a former heptathlete; is it also due to her athletic upbringing?

Yes of course. He is someone precocious and well trained. But it is also very good. His parents like sports and take good care of him. But they are different. They are patient. Unlike other parents; Greg and Helena are in no rush for things to happen. Before; it was the father who did the technical sessions and the mother who took care of the physical preparation. Since this winter; they are in Europe; it is the mother who trains him injournaltimepetition. But this entourage is not enough; there is also the boy himself. Armand is extraordinary and does what he wants.

Rate Armand as out of the ordinary. What is your definition of this word?

An extraordinary guy is someone who breaks all standards and that is what he has always done. When he has been a world pole vault record holder of all age groups since the age of 2; even if these records are not official at first; but since its 10 years (chicks); we know that it jumps higher. Why would it stop at 18. Well; at some point it will reach its limits; but for now; it is in a logical progression from its age; 20 years.

What are the intrinsic qualities of this young pole vaulter?

It is simple. He runs faster than anyone with a stick in hand. We have benchmarks. Armand did 10.54 in the 100 meters in junior. It is a qualifying time for the World Junior Championships. It has surely progressed since then and may have an intrinsic value at 10*35-10*40. When it is known that the determining factor of performance in pole vault is the speed of arrival. When we have a Renaud Lavillenie that was supposed to be worth 10*90; now we have a guy who runs at 10*30; therefore jumping higher so it makes perfect sense. Knowing that they have the same insanity and that Armand is technically seasoned; their performances are explained. They do notjournaltimee out of a hat … I will say that the progression that he has been able to have is because; essentially; he has managed to express his true physical potential. Until now it had not done so; because it was still under construction. He is no longer a 12-year-old boy. He is an athlete of 1.81 m by 78 kilos.

We know the force / speed relationship in athletics; which gives you the power of an athlete. Is Armand also in quintessential shape at this level?

Yes; but in the case of Duplantis he was 6.05 m; now he jumps 6.18 m; it’s because he runs faster than before; that’s all. Although the fact that it is a little stronger allows it to go faster; the basis is that: the speed of arrival at the stopper.

Does the hardware affect its performance?

No. There is very little research and development in pole vault. It’s the same material for everyone and it’s not the poles that make you jump high; anyway.

Does Armand jump with the same poles as Renaud?

Yes; absolutely; they were the same as Bubka’s; UCS Spirit.

And as for the hardness of the stick; they are the same as Renaud.

No; they are more difficult. These are “520 12.1 / 12.3”. But it makes sense. You get there faster; you can take harder poles. And the more you aim for the perches; the higher you can jump. It’s arithmetic; a bit. There is a notion of technique; but with expert people; technique no longer intervenes. We are using encrypted data that we put end to end and that gives a result.

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Does the crossover matter in this result?

The crossover is the result of everything I had before. It is not a phase in which we work. Some are more or less skilled than others; but there are no better “crossovers” than others.

For you; what are Armand’s limits?

No idea. It can be 6.25m; 6.30m. See more. I may never do better than 6.20m. If there’s one thing you can’t predict; it’s world records. Even if we can think that it will be 6.19m at Clermont-Ferrand on Sunday.

It is said that Sergei Bubka crossed 6.25 m in training in 1991. That during his world title in Tokyo in 1991; Japanese biomechanics measured the height of its center of gravity at 6.23 m! Were those his limits?

These are urban legends and the kind of shit that’s been sold for years. I saw Bubka jump in training and it is impossible to beat his world record in these conditions. You don’t jump with the same determination. For example; Renaud’s training record is 5.90 m. I can also assure you that if Bukba could have done 6.25m injournaltimepetition; he would have done it. I’ve read so much about it in the last week that I can’t let it go. Measuring the highest point of ajournaltimepetitive jump is also silly. At that point; we remove the bar and measure the jumps with a laser. This was already done; at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009; to measure the center of gravity of each jumper and the classification was not the same. The height of the pelvis above the bar; which may be an indication of the potential of the guy; but you have to watch where the feet go when the bar is … Now; regarding Duplantis; I have no doubts about his ability to make it better; but it is not by measuring the difference between the bar and the pelvis that we will have an idea. It will be truncated. You can have your pelvis at 6.30 m; but your legs do not exceed 6.18 m. In pole vault; there is a notion of height; but there is also a notion of horizontality. Pole jumping is passing a bar without dropping it.

In your career; as an athlete and as a coach; you have seen various pole vaulters jump. What style is Armand’s?

It’s yours. Bubka; Lavillenie; Duplantis; we are talking about guys who are taller than 6.10 m. There are only three in the world. Each of them can be attributed their own qualities. Armand has a very personal way of jumping. It is his paw. It doesn’t look like what Renaud is doing; what Bubka was doing.

If you were Armand’s trainer; what else; better; would you do to make him jump higher; again …

Already; the question does not arise. I know him. I have already trained him injournaltimepetitions and he came to train with us in Clermont. When he is in Europe; it is his base camp. But taking care of him personally is not a current issue. But if you really want an answer; I have a personal training principle: you are good because of your strengths; which is why I always try to optimize the strengths of others. So I’ll try to make it run even faster …

What is the perfect jump for you?

The leap any jumper can take when he optimizes all his know-how. Either a 3.50 m boy or a 6.20 m boy. We often say that a man never makes the same leap twice in his career. There are so many parameters to manage that it is very difficult to do the same jump every time. Still; pole vaulting is fun. It is a sport of sensations. This is not necessarily the case in all athletic disciplines.

Compiled by Bruno POIRIER.

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