Eliza Mccartney in the pole vault at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Report: women's pole vault qualifying – Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Little more than 12 hours after compatriot Thiago Braz da Silva took a historic gold medal in the men’s event, Brazil’s Fabiana Murer wasn’t quite so fortunate in the qualifying round of the women’s pole vault in Rio.

Echoing what happened to China’s gold medal hope Liu Xiang at his home Games back in 2008, Murer had picked up an injury in her last competition before the Olympics and wasn’t at her best. To add insult to her minor injury, she had a near-scare in warm-up when she almost landed in the box, just about managing to catch enough of the landing mat to cushion her fall.

One thing was clear: the 2011 world champion wasn’t at her best.

The 35-year-old skipped straight to 4.55m, perhaps hoping that a first-time clearance at that height would be enough to make the final, but she brought the bar down on all three of her tries.

Murer wasn’t the only medal hope to struggle. Greece’s Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou was a non-starter, having recently picked up an injury. World champion Yarisley Silva recorded two failures at 4.55m but got over it on her third try before sailing clear at the automatic qualifying height of 4.60m on her first attempt.

Defending Olympic champion Jenn Suhr brought down the bar on her opening vault of the day at 4.55m, but got over it on her second try and then cleared 4.60m at the first time of asking.

One woman who was flawless in this morning’s qualifying round was Ekaterini Stefanidi. The Greek record-holder opened at 4.60m and needed just one vault to clear it. Job done, no fuss.

New Zealand’s rising talent Eliza McCartney had experienced numerous logistical issues with her poles in the week leading up to the Olympics, but managed to put all those stresses to one side to qualify by right with a 4.60m clearance.

Britain’s Holly Bradshaw and German duo Lisa Ryzih and Martina Strutz were the other automatic qualifiers.

USA’s Sandi Morris, Australia’s Alana Boyd, Switzerland’s Nicle Buchler, Canada’s Kelsie Ahbe and Slovenia’s Tina Sutej found that their first-time clearances at 4.55m were enough to advance.

Sweden’s European bronze medallist Angelica Bengtsson also cleared 4.55m, but her countback record wasn’t as strong and she was equal 14th overall, which wasn’t enough to progress.

World U20 champion Angelica Moser was among the first to exit the competition. The Swiss teenager cleared 4.45m but was then unsuccessful at the decisive height of 4.55m.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF