You put it to Kurtis Marschall that surely he must be a little mad to do the pole vault. He must have a touch of the daredevil in his soul. How else do you explain soaring up to six metres with just a pole made of fibreglass and metal to aid the cause.

Marschall won’t have it.

“It’s not that risky,” he says. “If you really take it slow, have been doing years of it and know the technique, then you don’t even think about the risk element of it.

“I have been doing it for nine years now. You start at a bar that is two metres in the air on a straight pole and then you gradually work up to the heights I am at now.

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