Greek teenager Emmanouil Karalis finished fifth in the pole vault at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 earlier this year, clearing 5.80m – a height only one other U20 athlete in history has ever bettered. The 2015 world U18 bronze medallist explains how he got hooked on the pole vault and what keeps him motivated.

“My Dad (Haris, former Greek record-holder) was a decathlete and he wanted me to become one too, so he started me off with the pole vault because it’s the hardest event.

I had done other sports like swimming, basketball, taekwondo and football when I was younger, but I liked the pole vault. It wasn’t scary; it was fun – grab a stick and get over something!

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