21 FEB 1998 General News 21 February

Emma George sets new pole vault world record

Emma George sets new pole vault world record
21 February - Australian Emma George on Saturday set a new world record in the women's pole vault by clearing 4.57 metres, beating her own previous mark of 4.55 metres. The 23-year-old former circus acrobat was taking part in the Robin Tait Classic in Auckland in tough conditions, only just managing to squeeze in her final attempt before it started to rain.
On Saturday she passed at 4.20 metres, cleared on her second attempts at both the 4.30 and 4.45 metres and then made her first and only attempt at 4.57. Having soared over the bar she decided the conditions were too bad to continue. George was elated with her victory. "This season I've been too busy trying to get my technique right jumping off 12 steps instead of my regular 16 steps. I didn't think this would happen. To do this off my shorter run is just fantastic for me," she said. In only her third year of pole vaulting, George said she had no idea how much higher she could go. "I don't know, I just like to go out there and jump and just put it up as much as I can," she said. George said a strong crosswind and drizzling rain had made it difficult to jump. But she had been inspired by her Russian training mate Dmitry Markov, who cleared six metres for the first time here Friday. George was also encouraged by Belarus' Tatiana Gregrieva who talked her through her world jump after exiting the competition at 4.0 metres. "Having her here and then Dmitry jumping six metres last night really motivated me," she said. "I watched him jump last night and that was great too."