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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

Report30 Aug 2011

Women's Pole Vault - Final - Murer rises to the occasion


Fabiana Murer of Brazil celebrates victory in the women's pole vault final during day four (© Getty Images)

Reigning World indoor champion Fabiana Murer became the newly crowned Queen of pole vaulting when with a clearance of 4.85m she added an even more cherished title to her collection of medals in the Daegu 2011 stadium.

A cat and mouse battle saw her defeat Martina Strutz who raised her German record to 4.80m while Russia's third placed Svetlana Feofanova who has a full set of medals from past Championships, collected another bronze with a season's best 4.75m.

Murer on a tense night of action produced an almost faultless performance which stretched her to the limit of equalling the Brazilian and Area record of 4.85m she set when winning the Ibero-American title in June last year.

The pressure on that occasion was incomparable to that experienced at global level against a field which included the world's greatest ever vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva who was determined to regain the title she lost in Berlin two years ago when no-heighting.

Sadly it was another night the Russian will quickly try to forget and after a tactical decision to pass after a first time failure at 4.75m she bowed out in sixth position with a best of 4.65m.

That saw Murer instead of fighting off the the challenge of the World record holder finding herself in an intense confrontation which at the conclusion developed into a mind game with Strutz. It was one the very confident 30-year-old won.

The pair when the bar was raised to 4.85m were the only two left in the competition, Feofanova and Isinbayeva having exited at 4.80m and Yarisley Silva, having earlier raised her Cuban record to 4.70m with her last attempt then passing 4.75m, also a casualty at that height.

That left Murer and Strutz who having come to the Championships as German record holder with a best of 4.78m was rewarded for going two centimetres higher with a guaranteed medal. But would it be gold or silver?

The 29-year-old with that first time clearance was in the lead but positions were quickly reversed when Murer went clear at 4.85m which matched her personal best and generated a cat and mouse game between the pair.

Strutz after a failure decided to pass and the bar went up to 4.90m. But her final two attempts reaped no dividends. However having never won a major title her face clearly showed her delight when becoming only the second German ever to make the podium following Annika Becker's silver medal in 2003.

The competition began with established campaigners Feofanova, Silva, Strutz, Silke Spiegelburg Jenn Suhr, Anna Rogowska and Monika Pyrek possibly with memories of how Isinbayeva crashed out when no heighting, coming in rather early when the bar was raised from the opening height of 4.30m to 4.45m.

Its size first whittled down when Poland's Pyrek with three medals under her belt from previous Championships went out with the bar at 4.65m as did German Kristina Gadschiew and finish with bests of 4.55m.

The dismissals increased when Czech Jirina Ptacnikova, Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou of Greece, Germany's Spielburg and Olympic champion Rogowska from who had missed out on 4.65m all failed at 4.70m.

Olympic silver medallist and World leader Jenn Suhr who nearly missed the Championships through injury had to settle for fourth (4.70m) after finding 4.75m well out of her reach.

Then with the departure of Feofanova, Silva and Isinbayeva, it became a two woman show with Murer the more consistent of the evening and having two failures at 4.90, rounding off her big night when raising the bar to 4.92m but not getting over.

David Martin for the IAAF

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