Women's Pole-vault in the shadow of Tokyo

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The women's pole vault in Zurich, was, one of the finest events of the year. It was one of the first times that I have seen Anzelhika Siderova smile.

Stuart Weir captured the women's pole vault in this piece.

_AG21638_1.jpgAnzelhika Siderova, photo by Diamond League AG

Women's Pole-vault in the shadow of Tokyo

The top four from the Tokyo Olympic final were in action in the women's pole vault in Zurich but with a quite different result. In Tokyo it had been

1 Katie Nageotte 4.90m

2 Anzhelika Sidorova 4.85m

3 Holly Bradshaw 4.85m

4 Katerina Stefanidi 4.80m

In Zurich Nageotte failed at her opening height of 4.57. Bradshaw at 4.67. The top four were:

1 Anzhelika Sidorova 5.01m

2 Katerina Stefanidi 4.77m

3 Tina Sutej 4.67m

4 Holly Bradshaw 4.67m

Bradshaw interpreted the results very much in the context of Tokyo: "You can't appreciate [the difficulty of competing again after the highs of the Olympics] unless you have done it. Often I have come 4th or 5th at majors, and come out chomping at the bit. It's great that the top four in Tokyo came here but the result shows you the different journeys that people go on. Katie, coming here as Olympic champion, but in the same situation as me, totally fried. We are close mates and we have both been struggling over the past 5 weeks. Then you can see Sidorova second in the Olympics and Kat fourth and they have come here fresh, all guns blazing. That is why I don't think we should be judged on it because what I was focusing on was six weeks ago and everything else a bonus".

Bradshaw added of her own performance: "Physically I feel great: I feel fast, I feel strong. But in the pole-vault if your mind is not there, it is awful. In the last few sessions I have not been able to focus, everything coming at me so fast. So to come here and hold my own and do a good job, I feel quite proud of myself. If I'm totally honest I thought it was going to be a train crash coming into this and it wasn't,, so I am quite happy with it. I felt I was worth 4.77 so I am a little bit disappointed but my coach says I have no right to be disappointed after the season that I have had".

Katie Nageotte told me: "The Olympics was the goal of the season and I have never had to go past the pinnacle [of a season] before. I tried to hold on as best I could but I literally had nothing left to give. I am sad that that is how it finished. In all of my career I have never before run through three attempts at the opening height. I know that I have nothing left and it is what it is. Normally even if I am not feeling great or am in a mental block, I can still pick it up in a competition with adrenalin. But if I can't make it happen in a Diamond League final, knowing how big it is, it's not going to be good to try any more competitions this year".

Sidorova also interpreted the result in a post Olympic context: "I did not feel like a big jump was coming today. I think we are all a bit tired already after a long season. In the warm up, I did not feel 100 percent ready for a jump over 5m. I just wanted to do some jumps and did not think of a perfect technique and perfect conditions. I still cannot believe I got the 5 m barrier today, Zurich is a great stadium, great track, great spectators and I am so happy I can share this moment with so many people in the stands. I am happy I can do this sport for them, for my coach, for my family. The trophy is very beautiful and important for me especially after Olympics. Now I can go for vacation with a good feeling. I just need some time to understand what I did today".

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