Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou in the pole vault qualification at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Beijing, China

Report: women's pole vault qualifying – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

In a surprisingly short qualification session for the women’s pole vault –  and mercifully so given that was it was played out in the glare of the hot morning sun – a decision was made to take the 14 women who had cleared 4.55m into Wednesday night’s final.

No heavyweight performers failed to make the cut, although a few middleweight performers will play not further part in the competition.. 

The world leader Yarisley Silva cleared 4.45m at the first time of asking but suffered a minor blip when the Cuban missed out on her opening effort at 4.55m.

However, the 2013 world championships bronze medallist steadied her nerves by flipping successfully over the bar with her second attempt to ease into the final.

London 2012 Olympic Games champion and world indoor record-holder Jenn Suhr only entered the competition at 4.55m and caused a brief alarm after dislodging the bar with her first attempt.

Thankfully for her, the 33-year-old quickly rectified any technical issues she may have been suffering from by sailing clear with her second try.

The 2011 world champion Fabiana Murer expended the least amount of energy of the main contenders as the Brazilian required just one attempt at 4.55m to book her spot in the final.

Greece’s Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou, a three-time IAAF Diamond League winner this season, also boasted a flawless record with first time clearances at both 4.45m and 4.55m to advance.

Other notable qualifiers included Sweden’s two-time world junior champion Angelica Bengtsson, Great Britain’s former European indoor champion Holly Bradshaw and 2011 world silver medallist Martina Strutz of Germany, all of whom progressed with a perfect record.

Bengtsson’s team-mate Michaela Meijer set a personal best with a first time clearance at 4.55m to also advance and there was delight for the home fans as China’s Asian record holder Li Ling wriggled over the bar with her third effort at 4.55m to take her place in the final.  

There was to be disappointment, however, for Germany’s Silke Spiegelburg, a two-time fourth place finisher at the IAAF World Championships, after she found 4.55m beyond her today.

Last year’s European silver medallist Ekaterini Stefanidi, from Greece, was another to miss out on that height, and consequently will not feature in the final. Demi Payne, US indoor champion and a 4.71m performer at her best, registered three failures at her opening height of 4.45m to abruptly end her interest in the competition.

Steve Landells for the IAAF