Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis has revealed his lucky escape at the Olympics - because a phone chat with his girlfriend dragged on a bit.
Duplantis had arranged to have a coffee with his American rival Sam Kendricks but didn't make it because he was chatting to his glamour model partner Desire Inglander.
Kendricks then tested positive for Covid-19, ruling him out of the Olympics, and three members of the Australian track and field team are now isolating after being identified as close contacts.
Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis has revealed how a chat with his girlfriend Desire inglander overran and prevented him from meeting Covid-positive Sam Kendricks
American medal hope Kendricks was forced out of the competition after testing positive
Duplantis would have suffered a similar fate had he made his coffee and chat with Kendricks. Instead, his quest for an Olympic gold medal remains on course as he cruised through qualifying on Saturday.
'I was going to meet him in the Olympic Village and have a coffee but I was speaking to my girlfriend for too long and missed it,' Duplantis said.
'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.'
Duplantis, 21, was born in Louisiana in the United States to an American father and Swedish mother. He could have competed for either nation but chose Sweden in 2015.
Kendricks' withdrawal means Swedish pole vaulter Duplantis is a favourite to take the gold
Duplantis cleared a height of 5.75metres to qualify for the final of the pole vault competition
He is the current world record holder and the withdrawal of Kendricks has boosted his chances of taking a medal. Duplantis cleared 5.75metres to sail into the final of the competition.
Duplantis, whose nickname is 'Mondo', had one failure at 5.50metres but was ultimately one of the 14 men who progressed.
He is the only man to have gone over six metres this year though some of his rivals have cleared that height previously in outdoor competition.
Inglander posted a picture of the couple together on Instagram to wish Duplantis good luck
The phone chat between Duplantis and his glamour model partner dragged on a little too long but ended up being a lucky escape for the Swedish athlete
His girlfriend Inglander wished him luck ahead of the qualifying competition by sharing an Instagram snap of them together and the message: 'Go out there and do your thing.'
Kendricks' place in the American team was taken by Matt Ludwig but he, perhaps unsurprisingly, failed to reach the final having competed just 20 hours after being called up.
'It's been fast-moving. There have been mixed emotions and drop-of-the-hat stress, logistics. I didn't have a uniform before leaving for the stadium this morning,' Ludwig said.