Encouraging pole vault win for McCartney
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Eliza McCartney has returned from Achilles tendon problems with an encouraging 4.61m pole vault win in Belgium.
23 July 2017
New Zealand pole vaulter Eliza McCartney has eased her way back into form two week out from the athletics world championships with a 4.61m winning effort in Belgium.
McCartney, who won a shock bronze at the Rio Olympics last year, had been struggling with ongoing Achilles tendon problems.
She bypassed the Diamond League meeting in London early this month, and another event in Germany to work on rehabilitation.
But at the Nacht van de Atletiek meeting in Heusen-Zolder, McCartney put together a solid series of vaults, although she took two attempts to clear both 4.21m and 4.31m.
McCartney then sailed over 4.41m and 4.51m on her first attempts, resting at 4.56m before nailing 4.61m first up then ending with three misses at 4.71m.
Seventeen-year-old compatriot Olivia McTaggart, who set a personal best 4.40m in January this year, finished seventh in the same competition, clearing 4.31m.
McCartney, 20, cleared a national record 4.82m in Auckland in February and had opened her European campaign with an encouraging 4.75m best in Rome in early June.
However, she failed to register a height at a subsequent meet in Oslo and managed just 4.20m in Stockholm.
McCartney is part of a 10-strong New Zealand team which will contest the world athletics championships beginning in London on August 5.
Another Rio bronze medallist, 1500m runner Nick Willis, was added to the team on Sunday after a late 3min 34.74sec qualification effort in Monaco.
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