Reigning Olympic champ Stefanidi beats Alysha Newman in virtual pole vault event

Reigning Olympic champ Stefanidi beats Alysha Newman in virtual pole vault event

A laughing Alysha Newman called it the happiest third-place performance of her pole vault career.

Under a mostly sunny sky in Bolton, Ont., the Canadian women’s indoor/outdoor record holder made 21 successful jumps at four metres but fell short of reigning Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi, who cleared 25 consecutive times before a failed attempt en route to a winning total of 34 from Athens, Greece.

Two-time U.S. indoor winner Katie Nageotte was second in the remote competition, clearing the bar 30 times over two 15-minutes sessions from her training facility in Marietta, Ga.

The trio combined for 85 clearances, which was 13 short of the total compiled by Renaud Lavillenie and Mondo Duplantis (36 apiece) and Sam Kendricks from each of their backyards on May 3 in first running of the Ultimate Garden Clash.

“When I was standing there thinking Kat was at [19 at halftime], I gotta at least double her [in the second half to cut the deficit],” said Newman, a native of London, Ont. “The entire time was trying to double but I knew the more I kept going, the more mistakes I would make.

“I think I did 29 or 30 total jumps so I’m still happy with that. It’s a great accomplishment for me.”

Newman, 25, started slow, missing her first attempt and twice in five tries, but the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion got into a groove when she made her final four jumps before the five-minute halftime.

Newman went 8-for-8 coming out of the half before registering her fourth and final failure on the day. With more misses than her opponents — Stefanidi had two to Nageotte’s one — Newman lost valuable time since only she could reset it, costing her valuable time.

She also was hurt by the fact she stopped her approach on the runway a few times, unlike Stefanidi and Nageotte.

Stefanidi held a three-jump advantage (26-23) over Nageotte midway through the second half and increased it to five with five minutes left.

Published at Sat, 16 May 2020 18:03:59 +0000