Armand Duplantis needed an outdoor personal best vault of 6.07m in Lausanne to beat world champion Sam Kendricks, who cleared 6.02 ©World Athletics Twitter

World pole vault record holder Armand Duplantis needed an outdoor personal best of 6.07 metres to earn his 12th consecutive victory at the Lausanne Wanda Diamond League exhibition event tonight after a titanic contest with double world champion Sam Kendricks.

The American, who beat Duplantis to the world title in Doha on countback, went over at 6.02m, the second best height he has ever achieved behind his 6.06 clearance last year.

But the 20-year-old Swede, who set world records of 6.17 and 6.18 during this year’s indoor season and who had begun as leader of the 2020 world lists with a clearance of 6.01, flew over 6.02 at his first attempt before entering territory that even his ultra-competitive rival could not inhabit.

It was the first time two men had cleared that height in the same pole vault competition.

Duplantis, who had spoken beforehand of his desire to beat Sergey Bubka’s 1994 outdoor world record of 6.14, tickled the bar as he went over at 6.07 in the Place de l’Europe venue in the scenic Swiss city.

Kendricks who, as usual, had taken no liberties with the event having started with a first-time clearance at 5.32, was ultimately unsuccessful at what would have been a new personal best.

His younger opponent then had one unsuccessful attempt at 6.15 before deciding that the fading light precluded further safe efforts.

Duplantis had to settle for adding two centimetres to his outdoor best and moving ahead of Kendricks to second place in the all-time outdoor list.

The women’s pole vault victory went to Sweden’s Angelica Bengtsson, who was the only athlete to clear 4.72.

That height proved too much for her compatriot Michaela Meijer, second in this year’s world standings with a national record of 4.83, and also for Britain’s European indoor silver medallist Holly Bradshaw, who has a 4.73 clearance to her name this season but who could not progress tonight despite a third attempt that just scraped the bar off.

Bengtsson, 27, who won two world junior titles and a Youth Olympic gold, went on to make three ultimately unsuccessful attempts to clear what would have been a Swedish outdoor record of 4.84, four centimetres beyond the then national outdoor record she achieved at last year’s World Championships in Doha with her final attempt at the height after her pole had broken on her third try.