A few weeks have passed since Yarisley Silva became the first woman to win three consecutive Pan-American Games pole vault titles, but the Cuban still has unfinished business – not just for this season but for 2020 and beyond.
At the recent Pan-American Games in Lima, the 32-year-old cleared 4.75m to take gold ahead of USA’s Katie Nageotte and Canada’s Alysha Newman. Along with securing her third successive title, Silva maintained her record of clearing a season’s best at the Games – a trend that began on her debut in 2007.
That’s not to say it was an easy victory, though. The humid winter of the Peruvian capital made the competition more challenging to all athletes. They only had 40 minutes of warm-up instead of a full hour. Needing to start vaulting at lower heights than usual, Silvia struggled with her run-up with the bar at 4.35m, finally getting over it on her third attempt.
From then on, though, she was her usual self and kept fighting for gold.