Ireland’s German-Born Pole Vault Record Breaker Has High Ambitions

“I’m already saying soccer!” says Sean Roth, scolding himself that he’s picking up what he considers American slang. His annoyance is allayed when told we flit between calling the sport both football and soccer in Ireland. Still, “We’ll call it football,” he says.

The 23-year-old, born in Düsseldorf to a mother from Tipperary and a father from Germany, is Ireland’s best pole vaulter right now. Earlier this month, competing for the University of Louisville, he broke Brian McGovern’s nine-year-old Irish indoor record by 9cm with a 5.31m vault in Virginia.

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