Alana Boyd’s dream of an Olympic pole vault medal remains alive after the 26-year-old made it through to a 12-vaulter final on Monday night after today’s qualification.
But Liz Parnov, with father and coach Alex looking on, had a miserable day after being eliminated without clearing a height.
Boyd cleared her first height at 4.25m on her first attempt but struggled with 4.40m when she missed her first two tries. She soared over the bar at her third attempt.
With frequent visits to her coach Parnov sitting in the first row of the stands, Boyd sealed a finals berth when she nailed 4.55m at her second shot.
Because the attrition rate was so high, organisers ruled that the 12 vaulters who had cleared 4.55m would contest the finals. Normally the mark is 4.60m.
World record holder Elena Isinbaeva from Russia, Cuba’s Yarisley Silva and America’s Jenny Suhr enter Monday night’s final as the top-ranked vaulters following today’s qualifications.Parnov had a disastrous day.
After failing to clear the starting height of 4.10m in her first two jumps, the 18-year-old from Perth looked ill at ease at the top of the runway on her do-or-die last chance.
Half-way to the pit, she knew her Olympics campaign was as tragic as it was short.
Parnov pulled up to a jog by the time she reached the pit, then pushed her pole despondently back to the casing where they are stored.
The emotion then got to her as she bent forward with her hands on her knees, contemplating what went wrong.
It’s doubly tragic for Parnov because she also had a disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign in Delhi in 2010.
by: Ray Wilson