Greek pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi (© AFP / Getty Images)
Some of the world’s best pole vaulters will be looking to test themselves on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics when they compete at the Muller British Grand Prix – a Wanda Diamond League meeting – in Gateshead International Stadium on 13 July.
Competing on home soil, British record-holder Holly Bradshaw will be joined by Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi, world leader Katie Nageotte, world indoor champion Sandi Morris and world champion Anzhelika Sidorova.
“After opening my season well in Doha last month, things have gone even better since with my best-ever outdoor height of 4.82m in Spain,” said Bradshaw.
“My event is really competitive at the moment and in Gateshead I’ll be due to face most of the top pole vaulters in what promises to be a really good competition. With the meet falling so close to the Olympics as well it will be a great final test before heading out to Tokyo.”
Such is the quality of the competition, in good conditions the athletes could get close to the world record of 5.06m set by Yelena Isinbayeva in 2009. Several women’s pole vault world records have been set at Gateshead International Stadium in the past. Daniela Bartova of the Czech Republic, for example, set a world record of 4.14m at the venue in 1995 while Isinbayeva of Russia set world marks of 4.82m in 2003 and 4.87m in 2004 at the same track.
The pole vault line-up is the latest to be announced for the Muller British Grand Prix following the news that British star Dina Asher-Smith will be racing over 200m and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands will compete in the women’s mile.
Gateshead staged the first Wanda Diamond League event of 2021 in May after it was moved from Rabat in Morocco to the North East of England and now, on 13 July, the same venue will host the seventh Diamond League of the season after it was moved from its original home of London.
Organisers for World Athletics