Armand Duplantis at Tuesday's press conference

Ostrava (Czech Republic) (AFP) - Pole vault star Armand Duplantis said Monday he was competing with himself rather than the rest of the field as he relished his record start into the season.

Duplantis set a new world record of 6.22 metres indoors in Clermont-Ferrand in February before clearing the bar at a world-leading 6.11m outdoors this month.

“I’m in the place where I want to be and I’ve liked the start so far,” the reigning Olympic and world champion said ahead of Tuesday’s Golden Spike meet in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava.

“I’m in a good shape, I’m fast, I’m strong, I’m pretty much technically… where I want to be right now,” said Duplantis, who will seek to defend his world championship win in Budapest in August.

His 6.22m indoors beats Renaud Lavillenie’s record by six centimetres, while his 6.21m outdoors is well ahead of the 6.14m jumped by Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka in 1994.

But waving aside his status as the runaway leader across all statistics, Duplantis said the nature of the sport made him compete largely with himself anyway.

“It’s not the competition where you really play against each other,” said the 23-year-old US-born Swedish athlete.

“You have to go up there and jump high and clear whatever the bar may be. It’s a competition within myself.”

“That’s how it was even before I was the best in the world, because that’s the approach to every competition. Whatever the person besides you does, it doesn’t matter,” Duplantis added.

He said keeping calm was a crucial part of his approach.

“At the end of the day it’s just pole vault. I try not to over calculate,” he said.

“I try not to worry about anything, it’s me and the bar, and it’s just a competition between me and the bar.

“The only competition against other people is basically just on the scorecard. The only thing I can control is myself.”