US pole vaulter Sandi Morris (© AFP / Getty Images)
World indoor champion Sandi Morris produced a world-leading 4.95m to win the women’s pole vault at the Liberty Bridge Jump Off meeting in Greenville on Friday (27).
Competing in her home town in South Carolina, the world and Olympic silver medallist from the USA went on to raise the bar to a would-be world record height of 5.07m. Her attempts were solid, particularly her final effort, but she was more than happy to end the night with the second-best mark of her career.
My best attempt at the world record from the #libertybridgejumpoff !! What an incredible atmosphere. (Please watch until the very end so @vaultbarber can make you laugh 😆) It’s truly an honor to even be attempting such historical marks, and to be so close to actually making it blows my mind. I feel like I’m RIGHT there. I just have to stay focused, keep chipping away, and believe in myself! More than anything, I believe in my coaching and in my support system. I’m so lucky to have everyone behind me, pushing me to greater heights! 🙏🏼 to 5.07m and beyond!! Let’s GO!! #believe #polevault #grind #yeahthatgreenville #americantrackleague #nikewomen #blessed #athletics #trackandfield
Morris entered the competition with a first-time clearance at 4.45m, then went over 4.55m, 4.65m and 4.75m on her first tries at those heights. She needed three attempts to successfully negotiate 4.85m and then cleared 4.95m on her second effort.
Her winning height was just five centimetres shy of the PB she set at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels in 2016. Emily Grove finished a distant second with 4.45m.
“This is amazing,” said Morris. “It’s mind-blowing so many people are here. Greenville has been so supportive to me throughout my journey, especially since the Rio Games.”
World champion Sam Kendricks won the men’s competition with 5.80m, enjoying a clear score card without any failures. Canada’s 2015 world champion Shawn Barber was second with 5.65m.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF