Kennedy Extends Purple-patch with Solid Form at All Star Perche
Athletics | Published:
Mon 26 February 2018
Australian women’s national pole vault champion Nina Kennedy has warmed up for this weekend’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, UK with a strong performance at the All Star Perche meet in France.
The event is an invitational indoor meet, hosted by legendary French vaulter Renaud Lavillenie in his home-town of Clermont-Ferrand.
With a range of the world’s best vaulters in attendance, Kennedy cleared 4.62m for eighth place following a whirlwind trip from Perth, post nationals.
The most encouraging aspect for the 20 year-old has been the consistency demonstrated across her 2018 season.
She recently achieved a new personal best of 4.71m in Perth and was able to clear 4.60m in difficult conditions on the Gold Coast to secure herself a maiden berth at April’s Commonwealth Games.
In France and off a tight turnaround from travel, she entered competition at 4.32m and safely sailed over at the first go. Her next attempt yielded another first time clearance, this time at 4.50m.
With the bar raised to 4.62m – Kennedy stumbled with her first two attempts, but cleared on the third to progress up at 4.72m, which would have been a new personal best.
Despite failing to clear, Kennedy has shown against a world-class field that on her day, she can threaten a finals berth at major competition.
American Katie Nageotte won the competition on countback from Russian Anzhelika Sidorova – with both women clearing 4.86m.
USA also boasted the winner in the men’s field with Sam Kendricks’ first time clearance at 5.93m enough to wrestle the title away from Lavillenie – who cleared the height at the third time of asking.
The meet was also highlighted by teen Swede sensation Armand Duplantis who broke the U20 world indoor record after he cleared at 5.88m.