Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr today joined children from St Marks Catholic Primary School in Birmingham as she prepares for the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix – Birmingham on Sunday 30 July.
Suhr, who saw off competition from two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva and Cuban record holder Yarisley Silva to claim gold at London 2012, is excited to be returning to the Birmingham Alexander Stadium this weekend.
“The Sainsbury’s Grand Prix always brings in a great crowd and the fans here are always in tune into what’s going on. With the runway so close to the stands, it makes it a really special place to jump and that’s why I love coming here.
“I feel good leading into the meet – this is the referesher meet after the US Championships and it’s a good stepping stone leading into Moscow. So it’s good to almost restart the season coming here to Birmingham.”
Suhr added a world indoor record to her list of accolades, jumping 5.02m in Albuquerque in March, and the 30 year old will go head-to-head with Silva once again this weekend at the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix – Birmingham, after beating the Cuban on count back in London last year. Having already jumped a world-leading height of 4.90m this summer, Suhr will be wary of the competition she is likely to face when she heads to Russia for the IAAF World Championships in August.
“I’m coming up against international competition in Birmingham, so it will give me that idea of what I’m likely to expect when I get to Moscow.
“I’m going to go in (to Moscow) and prepare like I do like with any other competition. If I’m healthy, fit and things are going well technically, I’ll be in contention for the gold.”
Despite having an Olympic gold and silver medal to her name and winning an impressive 14 US National Championships, Suhr who is coached by her husband Rick, is determined to stay at the top of the pole vault rankings.
“It’s not hard to motivate myself, because I fear losing. Going in I get very nervous, so when I come into competition there’s never a lack of motivation – it’s always there whether I’m training or competing.”
Christine Walker, the Head Teacher at St Marks Catholic Primary School said:
“It was absolutely inspirational to have Jenn here today. She’s somebody that our children can look up to – she talked about aspiration, and that’s really important to the children at St Marks.
“It’s about taking the talents you’ve got and using them to the best of your abilities and she’s an outstanding example of that.”