Jenn Suhr won one of the most difficult pole vault competitions in recent history. Everyone was there. In winds that were swirling,and conditions that were cold, Jenn Suhr went from the silver of Beijing to the gold in London.
Jenn Suhr, Gold medalist, Pole Vault, London Games,
photo by PhotoRun.net
This was a difficult competition for all involved. Cold, windy and even, some rain, the women vaulters had to use all of their wiles and their coaches, to complete this competition.
Anna Rogowska of Poland no heighted. Alana Boyd of Australia, Vanessa Boslak of France, cleared 4.30m and nothing else.
At 4.45m, the first nine women did not clear the height on the first attempt. Becky Holliday of the US finished ninth, clearing 4.45m on her third attempt and not getting over 4.55m. Lisz Ryzih of Germany did cleared 4.45m on her third, and finished sixth, with no earlier jumps and no later clerances. Tied for sixth, Jirina Ptacnikova of the Czech Republic cleared 4.45m on her third attempt, took two attempts at 4.55m and missed and then missed on her last attempt, at 4.65m.
Holly Bleasdale, photo by PhotoRun.net
Holly Bleasdale of Great Britian took three attempts at 4.45m to clear and just could not get over the bar at 4.55m. She will be a player in this event for the next decade as the 20 year old has talent everywhere. Bleasdale finished sixth.
Martina Strutz of Germany, had a rough day, clearing 4.45m on two attempts, 4.55m on one attempt, missed at 4.65m, passed on her final two attempts to 4.70m and missed on both.
Silke Spiegelburg of Germany came in at 4.55m, cleared there, and 4.65m on her first attempts. She ran into trouble at 4.70m, one attempt and passed to 4.75m and missed both times, taking fourth.
Yelena Isinbayeva, bronze medal, Pole Vault, London, photo by PhotoRun.net
Yelena Isinbayeva, the two time gold medalist at the pole vault and 28 world records, came in at 4.55m, missed on first, cleared on second attempt. She then cleared 4.65m and 4.70m on her first.
This is where the chess game comes in. Isinbayeva took two attempts at 4.75m, missed and then missed on her last attempt at 4.80m. Afterwards she told us, " I was hurt in May, and had ten days to train before the Olympics, this bronze medal is my gold. I will compete in Moscow next year and I hope that Jenn is there so we can battle."
Silke Spiegelburg, photo by PhotoRun.net
Yarsiley Silva of Cuba is a natural and one of the successes of the Cuban training system. Silva is a talented athlete. She took two attempts to clear 4.45m, then cleared. 4.55m, 4.65m, 4.70m, 4.75m, which tied her national record on first attempts. She then tried 4.80m three times and missed, taking the silver. She will be a gold medalist one day, mark my word.
Jenn Suhr, the silver medalist from Beijing, was intent on winning this event. Her coach and husband, Rick, who convinced her, at 22 to train for the pole vault, worked closely with her to make sure that nothing was left out of the equation.
Suhr started at 4.55m with a first attempt clearance, which won the competition in the end. She then passed 4.65m, cleared 4.70m on her first and took two attempts at 4.75m to cement her victory. Her three attempts at 4.80m while close, were at the end of the evening.
The battle had been won, Jenn Suhr is the first US gold medalist since 2000 and Stacey Dragila.
Jenn noted, " When Yelena is here, you have to be on your best game. She demands more out of others. I came to the pole vault late in life, at the age of 22. I have the best coach, who has developed a system just for me, and I am always learning. The pole vault is about survival. We have a system in the US where top three make it or you do not get there. That simple. "
Jenn Suhr is one of the most talented natural women athletes I have ever seen. She is one of only two athletes who have ever cleared sixteen feet in the pole vault.
Jenn Suhr, gold medal, Pole Vault, London,
photo by Photorun.net
One wonders how long before Jenn Suhr takes a world record in the pole vault, now that she has Olympic gold.
The battle has just begun.
The battle has just begun.