T&FN’S 2020 Men’s MVP — Mondo Duplantis

Unfortunately, few were able to see Mondo Duplantis put up his MVP season in person. (GLADYS CHAI/ASVOM AGENCY)

WITH A SEASON UNMATCHED in quality and quantity, Mondo Duplantis was an overwhelming choice as our 2020 Men’s Most Valuable Performer. The Swedish vault star went undefeated in 16 competitions, twice raised the absolute World Record, ultimately reaching 20-3¼ (6.18) and also claiming the highest outdoor mark ever.

His MVP season, which included the year’s 5 highest jumps and 9 of 10 (all clearances in a series are on first attempt unless noted otherwise):

Mark Meet Date
6.00 | 19-8¼i 1)Düsseldorf World Indoor Tour 2/04
(17-8½, 18-2½, 18-8¼ [2], 19-¼, 19-4¼, 19-6¼, 19-8¼ [2], 20-2¾ [xxx]) (5.40, 5.55, 5.70 [2], 5.80, 5.90, 5.95, 6.00 [2], 6.17 [xxx])
6.17 | 20-2¾i 1)Toruń World Indoor Tour 2/08
(18-1¼, 18‑9¼, 19-5, 19-8½, 20-2¾ [2]) (5.52, 5.72, 5.92, 6.01, 6.17 [2])
6.18 | 20-3¼i 1)Glasgow World Indoor Tour 2/15
(18-½, 18-10¼ [2], 19-2, 19-8¼, 20-3¼) (5.50, 5.75 [2], 5.84, 6.00, 6.18)
6.07 | 19-11i 1)Liévin World Indoor Tour 2/19
(18-4½, 19-¼, 19-4¼, 19-11, 20-3¾ [xxx]) (5.60, 5.80, 5.90, 6.07, 6.19 [xxx])
6.01 | 19-8½i 1)Clermont-Ferrand 2/23
(18-6½, 19-3, 19-8½, 20-3¾ [xxx]) (5.65, 5.87, 6.01, 6.19 [xxx])
5.86 | 19-2¾ 1)Oslo Diamond League 6/11
(18-1, 18-4¾ [2], 18-8¾, 19-¾, 19-2¾ [3], 19-8½ [xxx]) (5.51, 5.61 [2], 5.71, 5.81, 5.86 [3], 6.01 [xxx])
5.94 | 19-5¾ 1)Gothenburg 7/04
(17-6½, 18-½, 18-4½, 18‑8¼ [2], 19-2¼, 19-5¾ [3], 19-8¼ [xxx]) (5.35, 5.50, 5.60, 5.70 [2], 5.85, 5.94 [3], 6.00 [xxx])
5.72 | 18-9¼ 1)Karlstad 7/08
(18-1¼ [3], 18-9¼ [3], 19-¾ [ppp]) (5.52 [3], 5.72 [3], 5.81 [ppp])
6.00 | 19-8¼ 1)Monaco Diamond League 8/14
(18-4½, 18-8¼ [3], 19-¼, 19-8¼ [3], 20-2 [xxx]) (5.60, 5.70 [3], 5.80, 6.00 [3], 6.15 [xxx])
5.63 | 18-5½ 1)Swedish Championships 8/16
(17-5¾, 18-1¾, 18-5½) (5.33, 5.53, 5.63, 5.81 [xxx])
6.01 | 19-8½ 1)Stockholm Diamond League 8/23
(18-1¾, 18-9½, 19-1½, 19-8½, 20-2 [xxx]) (5.53, 5.73, 5.83, 6.01, 6.15 [xxx])
6.07 | 20-2 1)Lausanne Diamond League 9/02
(18-5¼, 19-1, 19-3, 19-5, 19-7, 19-9, 19-11, 20-2 [xpp]) (5.62, 5.82, 5.87, 5.92, 5.97, 6.02, 6.07, 6.15 [xpp])
6.00 | 19-8¼ 1)Brussels Diamond League 9/04
(18-½, 18-8¼, 19-¼, 19-8¼, 20-2 [xxx]) (5.50, 5.70, 5.80, 6.00, 6.15 [xxx])
5.91 | 19-4¾ 1)Berlin World Tour 9/13
(18-3¼, 19-1 [x], 19-4¾ [2], 20-2 [xxx]) (5.57, 5.82 [x], 5.91 [2], 6.15 [xxx])
6.15 | 20-2 1)Rome Diamond League 9/17
(17-10½, 18-8¼, 19-¼, 19-2¼ [2], 19-8¼, 20-2 [2]) (5.45, 5.70, 5.80, 5.85 [2], 6.00, 6.15 [2])
5.82 | 19-1 1)Doha Diamond League 9/25
(17-11, 18-8¾, 19-1, 19-5 [xxp], 19-8¼ [x]) (5.46, 5.71, 5.82, 5.92 [xxp], 6.00 [x])

Honorable Mention

Overall, our 31-member international panel made it clear that Duplantis was their No.1 choice. Three other standouts also received strong mention. Alphabetically:

Joshua Cheptegei
Uganda’s emerging superstar set World Records at the ages of both 23 (12:35.36 in the 5000) and 24 (26:11.00 in the 10,000). Those were his only track races of the year. He also had a pair of road races that weren’t considered part of the voting, as our protocol has long been only to consider road events that are part of the OG/WC program.

Ryan Crouser
The year’s overall top American completely rewrote the books on shot put consistency, making 74-footers commonplace. His best of 75-2 (22.91) moved him to =No. 2 on the all-time list. He was undefeated in 11 outings.

Karsten Warholm
The Norwegian star gave Kevin Young’s venerable WR in the 400H its closest scare yet, running 46.87 as part of a big double in Stockholm. Undefeated in 6 meets, he also produced 3 other races in the all-time top 10. Finally, he was also the year’s third-fastest in the flat 400.

Coming Sunday: Mondo’s MVP season in his own words.

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