The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Stockholm, SwedenWith the World youth title in 2009 and both the World junior and the Youth Olympic titles as well as the World youth best of 4.47m in 2010 – efforts that rendered her the IAAF Rising Star Award last autumn – it was more or less only a matter of time before pole vaulter Angelica Bengtsson would claim the World junior record*.
And on Sunday (20) time had finally run out for Silke Spiegelburg's 4.48m set almost six years ago. At the Swedish Junior Indoor Championships held this weekend in "Sätra Friidrottshall" in Stockholm Bengtsson provided an emphatic first attempt clearance of 4.52m*.
Bengtsson – who won't turn 18 until July – had entered the competition at 4.01m clearing on her second attempt and then continued with 10 centimetre increments: 4.11m on her first attempt, 4.21m on her second, 4.31m on her first (which secured the win) and 4.41m with her second before she asked for 4.52m.
That choice might look a little awkward with the World Junior Record at 4.48 but Bengtsson had the explanation.
“Although I have been aiming for that World record for quite a long time now – and I am really happy to finally have reached that goal - my main priority today actually was the Swedish national record for seniors!”
And as that indoor record since late Friday evening was 4.50m (Malin Dahlström in Potsdam) and the outdoor record 4.51m (Kirsten Belin since 2002) the logical choice was 4.52m for someone with very strong aspirations to become the undisputed No. 1 Swedish pole vaulter of all-time.
So by clearing 4.52m Bengtsson really made a "Triple Grand Slam" of records. But that didn't make her complacent - instead she asked for the bar to be put up at 4.57m.
“I felt very strong today right from the warm-up and I felt that I flew over 4.52m. In my final attempts at 4.57m I used the stiffest pole I have ever tried. And my third attempt at that height felt really, really good!”
Bengtsson won't have to wait more than two days for her next chance to improve all her new records. The women's Pole Vault is one of the featured events at the IAAF Indoor Permit meet "XL-Galan" on Tuesday (22) in the Globe Arena just a few kilometres away from where she sclaed 4.52m.
Although Yelena Isinbayeva is a late withdrawal the competition with names such as Fabiana Murer and Svetlana Feofanova will certainly be inspiring for the best junior pole vaulter of all-time.
“I am very excited for the "XL-Galan", I really look forward to compete well there and will definitely try to jump even higher.”