Pole vault star Eliza McCartney qualifies for world championships with big Brisbane win
Alisha Lovrich/Athletics NZ
Eliza McCartney has qualified for the 2023 world pole vault championships. (File photo).
Eliza McCartney admitted she was “delighted and relieved” after scoring a world championships qualifying point in a Kiwi pole vault event in Queensland.
The recently crowned New Zealand champion cleared a season’s best 4.71m to meet the qualifying standard at the Brisbane Track Classic on Saturday night.,
It was all Kiwis on the podium with Olivia McTaggart, who has already qualified for the world championships, second at 4.45m and Imogen Ayris third at 4.25m.
McCartney, whose previous season’s best was 4.61m, was delighted to rise 10cm higher in Brisbane.
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“I’m delighted and relieved and I’m also quite exhausted, I put a lot into it today,” said the 26-year-old 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist.
“I’m finding my feet quite a bit and this season it’s all about a lot of practice jumping. At my opening height (of 4.45m) I must have had four or five attempts at that height because I kept pulling out in light winds and walking back onto the runway, which is not how you want to do it.
“I started training this week to do a 14 step run, which is my favorite – it was my step up when I won bronze in Rio and for my PB (of 4.94m in 2018).
“I think that extra speed (from the 14-step lead) meant I didn’t have to work as hard (clearing at 4.71m), even though I’m on similar poles, and I can just go for it. “
McCartney’s national title three weeks ago was her first for six years after being plagued by injuries in recent seasons.
Zoe Hobbs continued her outstanding 2023 season with a win in Brisbane. (File photo).
Zoe Hobbs maintained her unbeaten 2023 season record with another 100m win in 11.20sec, beating Australia’s Bree Masters and and Singapore’s Veronica Shanti Pereira.
“I’ve had a lot of back-to-back races, but it’s really cool to come back and run against the Aussies and set another consistent time,” Hobbs said. “It wasn’t what I was hoping for, and I didn’t get the best start, but it was nice to come here and get more racing experience.”
New Zealand’s Rosie Elliott finished strongly in the women’s 400m to beat Ellie Beer in 52.88sec.
Anna Grimaldi, the double Paralympic long jump champion, impressed in the women’s para 100m by winning in 12.61sec, within 0.01sec. of her national T47 class record.
Georgia Hulls was second in the 200 m in 23.16 sec, behind Australia’s Ella Connolly in 23.12 sec.