05/03/2024
Nina Kennedy at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Picture: Australian Athletics

Nina Kennedy at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Picture: Australian Athletics

Australian pole vaulter Nina Kennedy claimed gold alongside the USA’s Olympic champion Katie Moon at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

The 26-year-old faced off against the defending champion and twice broke her national record of 4.82m when she cleared 4.85m on her first attempt and again on her final crack at 4.90m.

Both Moon and Kennedy were unable to clear 4.95m after three attempts, and officials offered both athletes the chance of one more face off or sharing the gold, and the pair decided the latter.

“It was a miracle, I knew I could get on the podium tonight, but to become world champion is all my dreams come true,” she said.

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“Last year I didn’t really believe I belonged, tonight I was going for gold and deep down believed in myself and came out with the goods.

“I’ve been planning this competition in my head for so many months now, it’s such a battle, I was quite early in the order.

“I kept my cool tonight, which I don’t normally do.”

Kennedy added being able to share the title with Moon is a highlight.

“Katie is the Olympic champion, the world champion, she is one of the greatest in the sport and to share it with her is an honour and a privilege,” she said.

“When we were equal, we were both looking at each other. I didn’t think she was going to want to share it. I said to her, “hey girl, you maybe want to share?” You could see the relief come over her face, and she was like, “yes!” and then we both started crying.”

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