What an amazing record the Ryshich family now have in the woman’s Pole Vault. First big sister Nastja won a surprise World Indoor title in 1999, and now in Grosseto, the younger sibling Elizaveta has added the World Junior title to the World Youth title she won last year in Sherbrooke.
Even better for Germany, as well as Ryshich’s gold, in a personal best of 4.30, they also gained a silver, thanks to Anna Schultze’s 4.25, which was also a personal best.
In fact, for most of the competition, Schultze looked likely to take the title, clearing first time at 3.80, passing at 3.90, and then clearing 4.00, 4.10, 4.20 and 4.25 all with first attempts!
By contrast, Ryshich, who had cleared 3.90 and 4.00 first time, struggled to get over 4.10, failing twice.
At this stage of the competition, China’s Yingying was in second place, having cleared with her first attempt at 4.00, and passed 4.10. Poland’s Justyna Ratajczak was in third place, flying over 4.10 first time for a new pb, having struggled over 4.00 with her last attempt and failed first time at 3.80 and 3.90.
With Ryshich relieved to get over 4.10 with her final attempt, the battle was now on, with five left in contention (Poland’s Katarzyna Sowa had squeezed over 4.10 at her last attempt for a new pb). Ratajczak and her teammate Sowa could not get over 4.20, so the battle was now on for the medals.
China’s Zhao, and the two German cleared 4.20 with first attempts. The bar was now raised to 4.25, and Zhao and Schultze making it at the first attempt and Ryshich opting to pass. Schultze failed three times and Zhao, failed once and then opted to pass as well.
At this point, Ryshich was in the bronze position, but her gamble paid off as she cleared 4.30 first time to snatch the lead, despite brushing the bar on the way over. With one failure at 4.30, Zhao then passed, and the bar went up to 4.35. Ryshich failed once, and then Zhao had two failures, handing the title to her German rival, but winning a share of the silver medal with Schultze.