Greece’s Stefanidi wins women’s pole vault

  • Reuters, Rio de Janeiro:
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2016 07:49 IST
Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece cleared 4.85 metres to win the gold medal on Saturday. (REUTERS)

Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi won the women’s Olympic pole vault on Saturday, clearing 4.85 metres to beat American Sandi Morris, who took silver.

Stefanidi, a 26-year-old who lives in the United States, shouted in ecstasy as the cleared the bar at 4.85m and celebrated before she even landed.

Morris, 24, also cleared 4.85 but took silver because of more failed attempts early in the match.

In a show of sportsmanship, she could be seen clapping along with the crowd as Stefanidi prepared for her final, ultimately failed, attempt.

New Zealand’s Eliza McCartney, 19, cleared 4.80m to tie her national record and take bronze.

American Jennifer Suhr, 34, who won gold in London in 2012 and silver in Beijing in 2008 competed despite fighting illness since arriving in Rio.

She successfully completed only one vault, at 4.60m, after her husband and coach Rick Suhr reported on Twitter on Friday morning that she had woken up “coughing up blood.”

“After warm-ups, everything just shut down. My muscles, I’ve never had them shake. I don’t’ know what happened,” Suhr said as she fought back tears.

“It is such a crappy feeling to know you have worked for years for this and this to happen. It’s embarrassing.”

The competition came hours after Russian two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva, who was barred from competing, announced her retirement and said whoever won would not have earned “a proper gold medal” due to her absence.


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