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Tokyo Olympics: Armand Duplantis glad to have avoided coffee with Sam Kendricks

Armand Duplantis
Armand Duplantis is favourite for the pole vault gold medal
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Ever wished your other half would just stop talking so you can get off the phone and get on with other things?

Well, in the case of Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis it was a good job his chat with his girlfriend went on a bit.

World record holder Duplantis was due to meet up with American rival Sam Kendricks for a coffee but ended up missing the appointment because of his phone call.

Kendricks then tested positive for Covid-19 and was ruled out of the Olympics, and three members of Australia’s track and field team are still isolating after being identified as close contacts.

“I was going to meet with him in the Olympic Village and have a coffee but I was speaking to my girlfriend for too long and missed it,” Duplantis said on Saturday after easing through qualification to reach the final. “So it’s thanks to her that we weren’t together.

“It’s so sad because Sam was in really good shape and he always jumps high at a championships, so basically there is a medal spot free now.”

Meanwhile, Kendricks’ replacement Matt Ludwig failed to reach the final, which was perhaps understandable given he was competing just 20 hours after being called up.

“It’s been fast-moving,” he said. “There have been mixed emotions… amid drop-of-the-hat stress, logistics.

“I didn’t have a uniform before leaving for the stadium this morning.”

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