Mississippian Sam Kendricks claims world championship in pole vault – again.

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

It was a triumphant night for the U.S. as Noah Lyles won the 200 and Mississippian Sam Kendricks defended his pole vault title at the world championships in Doha, Qatar.

Lyles ran 19.83 to beat Andre de Grasse and prolong the Canadian’s wait for a gold medal at a major championships. Lyles, a 22-year-old who grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, is the youngest man to win the 200-meter world title.

“My coach said ‘Let’s light it up,’ and I said ‘I’ve been waiting all year to hear those words,'” Lyles said. “So it was really just letting it all go, coming out here and just giving it everything I have left. This was the end of the season, my last race, and this is all I have left.”

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Lyles’ win sets up an intriguing potential U.S. rivalry with Christian Coleman, who decided not to run the 200 after winning the 100 meters here. Both men may try for the double at the Olympics in Tokyo next summer.

Kendricks, a 2nd Lt. in the Army Reserve, defeated Armand Duplantis after both cleared 5.97 meters, the best height at a world championships since 2001. They failed their attempts at 6.02.

Kendricks took the title because he had fewer failures at lower heights, four compared to five for Duplantis. It was an SEC rivalry on the world stage, as Kendricks competed at the University of Mississippi and Duplantis, who represents Sweden but was raised in Louisiana, won the 2019 NCAA championship at Louisiana State University.