Sam Kendricks competes at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials on June 21, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.
In a tune-up with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 just a few weeks away, pole vaulter Sam Kendricks jumped a season-best 5.91 meters to take second place Thursday at the Diamond League meet in Oslo.
The reigning world champion came up just shy of the man he beat for the world title in 2019, Armand Duplantis of Sweden, who jumped 6.01. Renaud Lavillenie of France was third at 5.81. Kendricks’ mark topped his Olympic-qualifying 5.85-meter vault last week in Eugene, Oregon, at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Kendricks, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, is headed back to his second Olympic Games later this month. His personal best mark of 6.06 meters set the American record in July 2019 and he currently ranks second in the world. The 28-year-old from Oxford, Mississippi, also serves in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Kendricks’ podium finish wasn’t the only one of the day for Americans in Oslo. 2016 Olympian Kate Grace won in the women’s 800-meter, setting a personal best time of 1:57.60. Grace advanced to the women’s 800 finals at the Olympic Trials but finished seventh and missed qualifying for Tokyo. Grace finished eighth in the 800 in Rio.
Besides Kendricks, several other Tokyo-bound athletes competed in Oslo. Making their respective finals were Donald Scott, who placed sixth in the triple jump, and Javianne Oliver, who placed fourth in the women’s 100. The next Diamond League meet is scheduled for Stockholm on July 4.