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The Duplantis brothers: Jumping to new heights

6 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Friday, May 12 2017 May 12, 2017 May 12, 2017 11:14 PM May 12, 2017 in Sports
By: Brandon Saho

Baton Rouge, LA - "It's always great to watch my brother do good at what he worked so hard to be good at."

"I like to feel like I made him better because he used to get mad if he couldn't beat me. But finally when I was done with it I guess he found his own motivation at being the best in the world I guess."

17 year-old Mondo Duplantis has become one of the world's best pole vaulters, following in his father Greg's footsteps, who jumped at LSU. A path that started in the family's Lafayette backyard.

 "Mostly Mondo beat Antione in pole vaulting because he wasn't as into it because he was playing baseball. But we do have video of Antione one time when he was three years older so he's more mature and he just got the better on Mondo one day," said Greg.

"We're having a little competiiton and he's getting real emotional and mad. For some reason he couldn't beat me that day. It kind of just showed his passion and how much competing means to him."

Now the two brothers are competing on different fields: Antione in left field for the Tigers. Meanwhile Mondo, to put it into perspective, is pole paulting almost twice as high as the left field fence here at Alex Box Stadium. He set the world junior record this April at 19 feet 4.25 inches, thanks to the guidance of his father and coach.

"Growing up I always wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps. But now jumping higher than my dad ever did it's cool and not everybody gets to jump with thier coach and have dinner with them every night."

"It's unique any time you have a coach and father situation its a little bit different. The progess he made has ben unbelievable and I never thought he would jump this high this year. I guess a year ago we weren't thinking about 2020 but now we are."

From the kid in the backyard, Mondo is now less than a foot from the Olympic record of 20 feet 2.5 inches, with all of Louisiana watching him jump higher and higher towards Tokyo in 2020.

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