• Kiwi Pole-Vaulter Eliza McCartney Soars in Auckland

    As cliché as it sounds, as cliché as it is, records were meant to be broken.

    In Athletics competition, five metres was once a gold standard for men pole-vaulters. The height was once considered unattainable.

    Now, women pole-vaulters are routinely clearing that height and have been for years. The current world record for the women in 5.06 metres and it was established in 2009. In a sport where records are set by millimetres, it is unusual for a record to persist that long.

    With the Commonwealth Games coming up soon in Brisbane, a New Zealand women’s pole-vaulter name Eliza McCartney set a personal best of 4.90 metres, meaning she is close to the top athletes in the world by a fractional amount.

    She took the bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, so she is no newcomer to the code, but the personal best she established in a recent meeting in Auckland surprised even her.

    Her 4.9 m vault was the best ever posted by a woman in New Zealand and it currently ranks sixth all-time on a global basis.

    “I’m feeling so good. Everything was clicking really well in the jump and what we’ve been working on in training is coming through,” McCartney said afterwards.

    “It was just so nice to get a look at those really big heights I’ve never really jumped at before. Even that in itself is such a win. Doing it in front of a home crowd as well, I couldn’t ask for more.”

    Just 21 years of age, McCartney could be a contender for the gold medal in Tokyo in 2020, so long as she remains healthy and continues to make the gradual progression that her sport requires.

    McCartney had to do a lot of work to clear 4.90 m. At the end, she was the sole competitor after none of the others was able to get past 4.5 m. McCartney needed two tries to clear that height and three to get over 4.8 m. She made her personal best of 5.9 m on her second attempt.