Eliza McCartney’s lone pole vault rival at the track and field nationals didn’t want to disrupt her from breaking a record.

Canterbury teen Louise Richards lined up against McCartney in Dunedin in March when she attempted to shatter her previous personal best mark.

Five months on, McCartney starred at the Rio Olympics, capturing bronze with a stellar 4.80m effort, 5cm back from Greek gold medallist Ekaterini Stefanidi.

Richards, 18, achieved a then-personal best of 3.15m at the nationals, which she was delighted with, considering she only took up the event this season.

Competing alongside 19-year-old McCartney, who broke the national and Oceania record in March, clearing 4.80m, was a “terrifying”, but rewarding experience for Richards, a University of Otago student.

 

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