Marschall follows in Hooker’s footsteps

By his own reckoning, Kurtis Marschall has three or four Olympics left in him.

With one down, it’s impossible to put a ceiling on what Australia’s rising pole vault star might be capable of.

Marschall contested his first Games at the tender age of 19, three years younger than his hero Steve Hooker was when he went to the first of his three Olympics in Athens in 2004.

Beijing 2008 gold medallist Hooker’s debut ended in the qualifying rounds with a best vault of 5.30m.

Marschall also finished 15th in Rio on Saturday night.

His highest vault, however, was far better.

Despite a “pretty dodgy” final training session a few days ago, the young South Australian cleared his mind – and 5.60m.

He missed the 12-man final on countback, yet only nine other athletes actually vaulted higher.

“First Olympics, aged 19, jumping 5.60m and just missing out on the final by countback – I’m pretty stoked,” Marschall said.

“The conditions out there were mint.

“I would have loved to have jumped 5.70m and made the final, that would have just topped it off.

“But I reckon I’m pretty proud of myself.”

From here, next year’s world championships in London beckons.

Then of course, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond.

“Some guys are competing at the Olympics aged 35 and up,” Marschall said.

“So hopefully I get another three Olympics in me, that would be pretty cool. Or why not four?”





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