01/03/2024

The new pole vault Bronze Medallist Nina Kennedy. (Photo: Commonwealth Games Australia)

Nina Kennedy has created history on her way to an iconic performance in the pole vault at the 2022 World Athletics Championships.

Nina Kennedy has created history on her way to an iconic performance in the pole vault at the 2022 World Athletics Championships.

25-year-old Australian Nina Kennedy has become an overnight sensation after winning the bronze medal. Kennedy competed at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in the pole vault event.

Entering the competition as a medal favourite, Kennedy didn’t have the easiest road to the podium. She had to put on a performance for the ages to overcome the odds and take home the bronze medal.

The Perth native had trouble getting past the opening 4.45 metres clearance. Without her ability to come in clutch this would have been a different story.

After this near-disaster, she had no trouble clearing the bar with a series of clean attempts. Through this, she made it to the clearance of 4.80 metres but couldn’t get any further.

“I was so nervous. I cleared my opening height on my third attempt and gave my coach (Paul Burgess) and myself a close heart attack but I came through,” Nina Kennedy said.

“Going into this, your brain goes to every possibility before you reach the track. You go to the worst-case scenario which is no-heighting in the final and the best case which is clearing it. I stuck to what I know which is following my cues and I cleared it.”

Nina Kennedy is the new record holder for a female Australian in the pole vault at a World Athletics Championships event. (Photo: World Athletics)

The previous record by an Australian at a World Athletics Championships was a jump of 4.60 metres. This was held by Alana Boyd and was from her competition in 2015 in Beijing, China. This record was demolished by Kennedy.

Kennedy attempted to achieve the Australian record (4.90 metres) but instead ran straight through not attempting a jump. She ended the Championships with the bronze medal and a 4.85-metre jump.

“I’m so happy with a bronze. It definitely gives me confidence going into the next few years ahead. Those girls are in their 30s. I’m still 25 so I have a few more years to crack that 90 bar,” she said.

“I think as athletes we are so used to wanting more but I’m going to soak this up. A bronze medal on the world stage is absolutely incredible and I think I’m going to enjoy this feeling for the next few days and next few weeks.”

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