Pole Vault

Mondo Duplantis
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Mondo Duplantis, Sandi Morris miss attempts at pole vault records

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Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis and U.S. athlete Sandi Morris took turns attempting world records in the pole vault Wednesday at the Meeting d’Athlétsime Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais meet at Arena Stade Regional in Liévin, France, but both were unable to clear the bar.

Duplantis, aiming to set the world record for third time in February, had no misses leading up to his record attempts. U.S. vaulter Sam Kendricks, who has won the last two world championships, cleared 5.90m but dropped out after one attempt at 5.95m. Duplantis passed on that height, then cleared 6.07m to warm up for his shot at 6.19m, just shy of 20 feet, 3 3/4 inches.

Morris’ attempt to tie Jennifer Suhr‘s world indoor record of 5.03m from 2016 was more of a surprise. Morris holds the U.S. outdoor record at 5.00m but had never done better than 4.95m indoors. She won Wednesday’s competition with a clearance of 4.83m and asked to go immediately to 5.03m, or 16 feet, 6 inches.

Yelena Isinbayeva still holds the outdoor record of 5.06m, set in 2009. Morris is second on the all-time list and is the only athlete other than Isinbayeva or Suhr to clear 5 meters either indoors or outdoors.

In the men’s pole vault, Duplantis’ clearance of 6.18m Feb. 15 in Glasgow is the best vault indoors or outdoors.  Sergey Bubka still has the highest clearance outdoors at 6.14m. Bubka also held the indoor record of 6.15m for more than 20 years, finally losing it to Renaud Lavillenie in 2014. Duplantis cleared 6.17m Feb. 9 in Poland, then added another centimeter last week in Glasgow.

READ: Duplantis raises record in Glasgow

Duplantis, Lavillenie and Bubka are the only vaulters to clear 20 feet. Kendricks cleared 6.06m, or 19-10 1/2, last summer, the highest outdoor clearance by anyone other than Bubka.

Duplantis grew up in Louisiana and attended LSU for one year, setting the NCAA indoor (5.92m) and outdoor (6.00m) before turning pro, though he was upset in the NCAA final by South Dakota junior Chris Nilsen.

Also at Wednesday’s meet:

Ronnie Baker ran 6.49 seconds in the 60m semifinals and lowered that to 6.44 in the final, second only to Christian Coleman this season. Demek Kemp finished second and tied his personal best of 6.50.

Nia Ali and Christina Clemons finished 1-2 in the women’s 60m hurdles with identical times of 7.92. Ali is the reigning world champion and Olympic silver medalist in the 100m hurdles. She also won world indoor titles in 2014 and 2016.

Two Ethiopian runners set the fastest times of the season Samuel Tefera in the 1,500m (3:35.54) and Getnet Wale in the 3,000m (7:32.80). Wale was fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase in the 2019 world championships.

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, racing in his home country of France, won the 60m hurdles in 7.47, second this season to Grant Holloway‘s 7.38 last week.

The World Athletics Indoor Tour ends Friday in Madrid. The world indoor championships originally scheduled for March in Nanjing, China, have been postponed a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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“Blurred nightmare”: USA’s Suhr posts heartwrenching letter to fans

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Jenn Suhr’s goals went from defending her gold medal to just getting out of bed to compete in Rio.

The 2012 Olympic champion in the women’s pole vault, Suhr became “sicker than I have ever been” once she arrived in Brazil in what she’s calling “a blurred nightmare”.

Suhr finished tied for 7th in Rio after clearing 4.6m, which is still impressive considering 4.75 won her gold in London, though she had aims of hitting 4.9.

Gold winner Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece cleared 4.85, the same height as American silver winner Sandi Morris. The bronze distance was 4.80, won by New Zealand’s Eliza McCartney.

Suhr hails from Western New York, whose populace likes to view itself as the most blue of blue collar types, and she lamented her position in saying, “Western New Yorkers are tough, we are workers, and we don’t quit. We give 100% even if we aren’t.”

Read the full statement below. We want to give her a high-five and tell her we understand, and that she should feel no shame.

The feeling of disappointing yourself is hard to handle. The feeling of disappointing others is even harder. I am…

Posted by Jenn Suhr on Saturday, August 20, 2016

Jenn Suhr will defend title in Rio, waits on Yelena Isinbayeva

Jenn Suhr
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — American Jenn Suhr has been paying more attention to pole vaulting than politics lately.

Now that she’s in the Olympics, the defending champion says that, sure, she’d like to see her biggest rival there, too.

“I’d like to compete against the best,” Suhr said Sunday at U.S. Track and Field Trials, when asked about the prospect of facing Russian world-record holder Yelena Isinbayeva. “I was told that I was misinformed on some things when I made my comment before. Maybe people know a little more than I do, I don’t know. If everything is honest, then yes.”

Isinbayeva is part of the Russian team that’s been banned by track’s governing body, the IAAF, from competing in Rio de Janeiro because of a doping scandal in her home country. She is among the 68 Russians who have petitioned the Court of Arbitration for Sport to compete. A decision is due July 21.

Asked a similar question about Isinbayeva in May, Suhr shared similar thoughts: that she would like to see Isinbayeva competing in Rio.

In a subsequent interview with The Associated Press, USA Track and Field president Stephanie Hightower said Suhr was “misguided.” Hightower, a member of the IAAF council that voted to ban the Russians, said Isinbayeva’s comments protesting the IAAF’s action were a sign the Russian “is condoning the corrupt system over there.”

Since that, Suhr put the doping scandal on the back burner to focus on making the U.S. team. In prelims at trials, she went conservative, taking fewer steps in her approach to make sure she would clear a height and advance. She was cautious in the final, too, winning with a height of 15 feet, 9 inches (4.80 meters).

“A relief, honestly,” she said. “I just want to get out of here. I want to go home. I haven’t enjoyed life in a while.”

The Suhr-Isinbayeva matchup stands as one of the handful of truly compelling rivalries in track and field. Isinbayeva beat out Suhr in 2008 for her second straight Olympic gold, before taking bronze in the London Games that Suhr won.

They await word on whether there will be an Olympic rematch.

“I always said I wanted to compete against the best,” Suhr said. “If everything is on the up and up — and the people who know more than I do say, ‘Yeah, she’s in,’ she’s in. Right now, I have no control over it. I’m happy that I’m in.”

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