JACK Hale and our crop of junior sprint stars aren’t alone. Australia also has a brilliant young athletics prospect in teenage pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall.
Marschall, 17, is a South Australian who is now rated equal second in the world for youth athletes (17 or younger) in his event. His lofty standing comes thanks to his sensational performance at the Australian All Schools Championships last weekend, when he cleared 5.35 metres – which added 15cm to his personal best.
The leap put him level with Adam Hague of Great Britain, while America’s Brandon Bray has cleared 5.40m in 2014.
WATCH MARSCHALL’S AMAZING VAULT IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE
Heading into the championships, Marschall said he was oozing confidence, having already set a new PB the previous week.
“The PB has definitely put me in a better head space,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
“My aim is to come out on top, win the gold and get another PB.”
He did just that – and as with our crop of brilliant 100m prospects, he’s not alone. Fellow Aussie teen Angus Armstrong has cleared 5.05m this year, while another compatriot in Declan Carruthers has cleared 4.90m.
Australia has a remarkable and proud history in the pole vault. Emma George was a world record-holding pioneer who won a world indoor title, Tatiana Grigorieva won a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, while Dmitri Markov won gold and silver at the world championships.
The greatest of all was Steve Hooker, who retired this year having won gold at the Olympics and world championships, as well as recording the third-highest vault of all time (6.06m).
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