Yarisley Silva in the pole vault at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (© Getty Images)
Yarisley Silva finally hit the jackpot following a couple of lesser medals in the past two years. The 26-year-old Cuban only competed once indoors before Sopot, but had no trouble during the competition and only failied to clear one height with her first attempt.
She cleared 4.65m with her second try before a decisive first-time clearance at 4.70m, which was enough for the win in a low standard competition. In fact, 4.70m is the lowest winning result in a worldwide championships since the 2001 World Indoor Championships.
Russia’s Anzhelika Sidorova and Czech Repubic’s Jirina Svobodová were tied for the silver with the same 4.70m result, going over that height on their second attempt.
The young Russian was competing in her first worldwide championship; she was the bronze medallist at the 2013 European Indoor Championships and came really close to her personal best of 4.72m from this season.
Svobodová has been around much longer, but this was her first medal outside a continental championship as well. She won the 2012 European outdoor title and she too was vaulting at close to her best level, her national indoor record standing at 4.71m from this indoor season.
Brazil’s 32-year-old former world champion, both outdoors and indoors, Fabiana Murer was fourth with a season’s best clearance at 4.70m but missed out on a medal due needing three attempts at that height during the competition.
The leading quartet all had three failures at 4.75m.
Another 32-year-old, Olympic champion and world indoor record-holder Jenn Suhr, jumped 4.65m for the equal fifth place but was bitterly disappointed at her inability to get on the podium on this occasion.
Together with Suhr in fifth place was homecrowd favourite, local Sopot athlete Anna Rogowska. Also 32 years old, Rogowska didn’t seem to find her best form. She jumped 4.76m earlier this season, but was not very close to clearing 4.70m today.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF