Mike Rowbottom: Vaulting ambition for Rio Paralympics as the ticket talk rises

The cow jumped, not over the moon, but over a decently high pole vault bar last night in Zurich’s Hauptbahnhof – and those watching loved it.

Unless I am very much mistaken, I think this was the dynamic creature – Cooly by name – which went through all the athletic paces at the European Athletics Championships in this same city two years ago, showing above average ability, certainly for a cow, at the 110 metre hurdles, high jump and, of course, pole vault.

On this occasion Cooly was helping promote the first event of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League meeting in Zurich, the women’s pole vault – featuring, among others, Olympic gold and silver medallists Ekaterini Stefanidi and Sandi Morris.

Competition took place in the city’s main station a day ahead of the main programme, with a thoroughly absorbed crowd of around 2,000 enjoying the proceedings.


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