BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — World-record holder Stacy Dragila failed to qualify for the final of the women’s pole vault at the World Indoor championships on Saturday, ruining her highly-anticipated showdown against Russian rival Svetlana Feofanova.
Dragila, the Olympic and two-time world outdoor champion, failed in three attempts to clear the qualifying height of 4.30 meters (14 feet, 1 1/4 inches) —- well short of her world mark of 4.78 (15-8 1-4).
On her third attempt, Dragila hung onto the upright pole in dismay as the crowd watched in disbelief.
Feofanova, whose world record Dragila had broken at the U.S. indoor championships in Boston on March 2, was next to compete and sailed over the bar on her first attempt. She is now a clear favorite to win the gold in Sunday’s final.
A Dragila-Feofanova duel had been considered the potential highlight of the three-day meet at the National Indoor Arena.
“What do you want to talk about? It was a bad day,” Dragila said, rushing through the mixed zone without stopping to talk to reporters.
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