Many times, the pole vault is an act of attrition. In an unfamiliar stadium, battling jet lag, hoping that your poles arrive, and managing the travel, training and competition, all play a role.
The Women’s pole vault in Rabat was a strange one, and Sandi Morris handled the unique nature of this competition with aplomb.
Here is how I saw the competition:
Sandi Morris, Birmingham DL, May 21, 2022, photo by Martin Bateman
The women’s pole vault was strange from the very start.
Sandi Morris, World Indoor gold medalist, Nina Kennedy, Katerina Stefanidi and Holly Bradshaw all passed at the opening height of 4.30m.
Marnyan Klypko, UKR and Tina Sutej, SLO, both cleared 4.30m on their first attempts.
Katie Nageotte, Olympic champion and World Indoor Champ silver medalist missed on her first attempt at 4.30m.
So did Huiquin Xu of China and Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou of Greece both missed on their first attempts.
Nageotte, Xu and Kyriakopolou all missed their second attempts at 4.30m.
Nikoletta Kyriakopoulou of Greece cleared 4.30m on her third attempts.
Katie Nageott and Huiqui Xu did not clear 4.30m.
The Olympic champion was out as was the Chinese athlete.
At 4.45m, World Indoor champ (2018 and 2022), Sandi Morris passed.
Nina Kennedy, Tina Sutej, and Maryna Klypko all cleared 4.45m on their first attempts.
Nikoleta Kyriakopolu missed all 3 attempts at 4.45m.
Holly Bradshaw, Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist, and Katerina Stefanidi, 2016 and 2018 European Champion, 2016 Olympic champion, both cleared 4.45m on their third attempts.
At 4.55m, Sandi Morris came in, taking two attempts to clear the height.
Nine Kennedy and Holly Bradshaw took 3 attempts to clear at 4.55m.
Katerina Stefanidi only needed one attempt at 4.55m.
Tina Sutej and Marnya Klypko both bowed out at 4.55m, missing on all three attempts.
At 4.65m, Sandi Morris flew over the height on attempt one, as did Nina Kennedy.
Katerina Stefanidi and Holly Bradshaw both bowed out at 4.65m, not clearing the height.
Sandi Morris passed at 4.75m to make 3 attempts at 4.80m.
Nina Kennedy took the height to retire from the competition at 4.75m, taking second.
Sandi Morris made 3 game attempts at 4.80m, she had already won, and she told the press:
“I felt so good tonight. There was an amazing atmosphere in the stadium, with all these kids cheering and making noise. Of course, I’m glad to have been able to win again and stay undefeated this season. But I’m a bit disappointed about the performance. At 4.65 m, I had the victory in my pocket, so the adrenaline went down and I could not succeed at 4.85 m. I’m feeling a bit sad for the crowd and the fans. But the conditions tonight were not perfect, with the wind changing directions all the time. It’s a bit tricky to jump with such a wind. My next competition will be in Rome, then back home for the US Championships. I can’t wait to compete on my home soil, at the World Championships in Eugene, with my friends and family in the stadium.”
The challenge for vaulters is that they all have to deal with the rain, cold, heat, and swirling winds. On this evening, Sandi Morris, who had such a tragic competition in Tokyo, won in Belgrade, and now won in Rabat.
The World Championships in six weeks is looking very interesting in the women’s pole vault.
Leave a Reply