It promised so much with all the main contenders present in Monaco on Friday, but the women’s pole vault was ultimately one of the most disappointing events of the evening. But for one athlete.

Three weeks after finishing out of the medals in the Helsinki European championships, Silke Spiegelburg set a full stadium alight when she successfully soared over 4.82 for a personal best, national record and world lead.

Putting Helsinki behind her, the Leverkuserinne had been looking forward to competing in the last big meeting before the Olympic Games kicks off.

Anyone who is anyone in the vault was there including the world record holder and double Olympic champion, Yelena Isinbayeva, and the world champion from Brazil, Fabienne Mürer.

But as the event fizzled out with one Olympic hopeful after another failing to get over modest heights on a warm evening, it was the 26-year-old German who took the initiative to lay down a marker for London that no one can ignore.

Grabbing her pole for a second attempt at 4.82, Spiegelburg soared over the bar and exploded with joy even as she was descending towards the mat.

“I have been waiting for three years to jump as high as this and to get the record,” she told Leichtathletik, the German athletics federation magazine.

So Spiegelburg adds the outdoor record to the German indoor record of 4.77 she captured in Leverkusen on January 15. Including her two junior records from 2005, she has now set six German records all told.

The whole competition consisted of only five jumps for the new record holder as she cleared 4.54 at the first attempt and 4.70 at the second. It was that second clearance at 4.70 that showed there was more to come – and how.

The former record of 4.80 belonged to Martina Strutz who had jumped so well in Helsinki to snatch silver, but here in the Principality could manage no better than seventh (4.54).

Before she travelled to Monaco, Spiegelburg had viewed it as an important competition, not only because it was a Diamond League event, but an invaluable opportunity to see the white’s the eyes of her main rivals in two weeks’ time.

“I want a solid performance and to give it all I’ve got,” she said before she headed for the Mediterranean city. She was as good as her word. Chapeau as they say down there.




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