Alana Boyd focused on breaking her national pole vault record

Olympic pole vault finalist Alana Boyd says she is in shape to break her Australian record during the remainder of the domestic season.

Boyd set her national record of 4.76 metres in Perth in 2012 and she is nearing the type of form that saw her break Kym Howe’s previous mark of 4.65m that had stood for almost five years.

She cleared 4.61m in Melbourne last month to post a Commonwealth Games A qualifier, despite only recently returning to a full run-up.

Boyd, who finished 11th at the 2012 London Olympics, believes she can improve her national record prior to the domestic season wrapping at next month’s Australian championships in Melbourne.

“As an athlete you’re always going out there to better your best and my best, which I set in 2012, is the national record,” she told Grandstand.

“So for me to better my best would be to break another Australian record, so I certainly think I am in the shape to do it in this domestic season.”

Confidence is crucial in pole vaulting and Boyd is riding high after also clearing 4.55m at the Perth Track Classic last month and 4.50m on the Sunshine Coast in January, both A-qualifying performances.

… For me to better my best would be to break another Australian record.

Alana Boyd


“I’m really happy with the way things are going so far,” Boyd said.

“To come out and jump 4.61 in my first meet from a full approach, it’s my highest ever opener and I am in good shape.

“It’s nice to come back from an injury-riddled 2013 and start the ball rolling nice fashion. To get those couple of A qualifiers already for the rest of the season is great.”


Boyd’s 2013 campaign was cut short after Achilles and knee injuries forced her to miss last August’s world championships in Moscow.

She also underwent foot surgery but feels she has taken several key lessons away from her injury lay-off.

“You try to take the positives out of everything,” she said.

“Unfortunately I had to withdraw from the world championships and had a little surgery on the plantaris tendon in my foot.

‘But it has allowed me to take each day for what it is at training and really kind of make sure I’m doing everything that I can to be the best athlete I can be. So it put things in perspective.”

Boyd credits family support network

The 29-year-old Boyd did not have to look far for support when sidelined last year, with her father Ray, a Commonwealth Games pole vault gold medallist, doubling as her coach.

Her mother Denise (nee Robertson) is also one of Australia’s greatest ever sprinters, a two-time Olympic finalist who won Commonwealth Games gold in the 200m in 1978.

Boyd says her parents’ experience as world-class athletes has always helped her cope with setbacks in her career.

“Being athletes themselves they know that unfortunately the disappointments in the sport come all too often as well as the successes,” she said.

“You learn to make the most of the good times, I guess. For them to be there for me in the difficult times with injury, getting back and telling me I needed to be patient … they are my biggest supporters.”

Boyd, who returned to Queensland from Perth after the London Olympics to train with her father, is likely to begin her overseas campaign with the Doha Diamond League meet in May.

She will then return to Australia to continue training before heading to Europe at the end of June in the build-up to the defence of her Commonwealth Games crown in Glasgow and the Continental Cup in Marrakech.



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