New Zealand's Eliza McCartney clears 4.80m in Dunedin (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Dunedin, New Zealand

Teenage pole vaulter McCartney sets Oceanian record of 4.80m in Dunedin

For the fifth time within a four-month period, 19-year-old Eliza McCartney broke her own national record, winning the New Zealand title with a clearance of 4.80m in Dunedin on Saturday (5).

It adds nine centimetres to the national record she set two weeks ago and three centimetres to the Oceanian record set last month by Australia’s Alana Boyd. It is also the best mark in history by a teenager and moves her to 11th on the outdoor world all-time list.

She eased into the competition by clearing 4.35m on her second attempt. She then went over 4.50m and 4.70m on her first tries before progressing to her record height, which she successfully negotiated on her third attempt. She ended her series with three unsuccessful attempts at 4.85m, the last of which was relatively close.

“I couldn't ask for a better build-up to the World Indoors and Rio,” said McCartney. “These heights are what I want. It makes a medal look realistic.

“My goal was to jump 4.80m, so going up to 4.85m I had to refocus,” she added. “I was really happy to get out a good attempt on the last one.”

McCartney’s performance came on the second day of action in Dunedin. Tom Walsh produced the highlight of the first day, winning the shot put with 21.11m. Domestic rival Jacko Gill was second with 20.23m.

Olympic champion Valerie Adams produced her best throw since September 2014 to win the shot put. She opened with 18.10m before improving several times throughout the competition, ending her series with a best of 19.43m, the best throw in the world indoors or outdoors in 2016.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF