Her interview was done at the adidas media center at the Daegu complex on Friday evening, August 26, 2011.
“This year, the pole vault is so deep, it is so far, and there are so many great jumpers out there, there is a good German vaulter, Polish vaulter…Yelena Isinbayeva has been there so many times, she is that good, she knows what to expect.”
That is how Jenn Suhr answered an early question in the interview at the adidas media center.
Suhr is the world leader in 2011, with a 4.91m jump. But, she has had issues with back and stomach spasms, ” The back and stomach were so bad, I did not know if I could compete here, but, we found a good massage therapist and I am here and I am competing.”
” I was having calf cramping and some other issues. I won the US champs, but then found out that I was allergic to gluten. After changing my diet, I have been able to train, and I am recovering from my workouts. I have a lot to look forward to! It has been a rough summer, but it has been a good summer, as I have gotten so much training in.”
Jenn Suhr is a tough competitor. She has had many challenges, but that is part of the landscape as a world class athlete.
” I was most happy with London, where I competed well” noted Jenn Suhr. That was an understatement, as she beat most of the major competitors but Isinbayeva (who was not there).
Jenn Suhr is a vault prodigy, now way about it. 13 months into vaulting, she was over 4.61m.
That first year, she also won the US indoor champs. Of her sports background, which was quite prolific, Jenn observed: ” I actually did a lot of sports, at the end, my coach and my husband now, actually drafted me to the pole vault. He asked me if I wanted to do it. I did not want to do it. But, after I tried it , I became addicted.”
Being married to her coach, Rick Suhr has its positives and challenges: “You have to learn to keep the pole vault in the back.”, commented Jenn. On her training facilities, Jenn gave these comments: “We train in a steel Quonset hut, that is powered by two Salamander heaters. There is frost on the floor, frost on the poles and frost on the runways, I think it makes you tough.”
Jenn Suhr is a very tough competitor, or she would not be in the pole vault at the World Champs. To win a medal here, it takes luck, focus and no mistakes. Suhr, in my mind, could win the whole thing, if she can stay on task, and deal with the 40 odd women in the field. Someone in the qualifying round, one of the real six vying for medals will not make the final-that is just the way this type of event works.
In the end, in the grand chess match that is world class womens’ pole vaulting, Jenn Suhr has to do her best jumps better than others and keep the attempts to a minimum. No mean task, but Jenn Suhr, the American record holder and Olympic silver medalist, should be in the medal hunt on Tuesday.
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