Silver & Bronze for Kiwi Track & Field stars
Silver for Eliza McCartney at Commonwealth Games
Eliza McCartney was unable to fulfil the expectation of a gold medal in the pole vault that New Zealand was looking for at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
In a great battle with Alysha Newman, McCartney had to finally accept the silver medal after Newman cleared 4.75m in her first attempt. The Rio Olympic bronze medallist missed her first attempt at 4.75m and bypassed her other two opportunities at this height and went straight to 4.80m which she missed with her two remaining attempts. Newman was unable to clear 4.80m at her first attempt and after McCartney had missed retired with the gold medal and a Games record of 4.75m. Nina Kennedy of Australia was third with 4.60m.
McCartney who has a best of 4.82m said it was a good competition.
“I knew I would have to fight really hard to get in the medals and do well. I got out there and I gave it my all and it got me second and I can’t even be disappointed with the medal and I’m happy.
“I think the disappointment comes from those last attempts at 4.80m, I certainly hit the height and I definitely know I can clear those heights so it was a little disappointing I couldn’t pull it out today,” she said.
“I was on the biggest poles I’ve ever used and I wasn’t quite getting around them enough which is quite difficult with the big poles,” she added.
McCartney said she knew Newman was capable of winning.
“Alysha was really jumping well today and I also know that she is a good competitor, she just fires it when she competes and so it was not unexpected and I’m glad she was jumping the best she could as that is amazing for her and regardless of what she jumped I was still focussing on the bigger heights that I wanted to get. If I’d jumped 4.80, 85, 90 I wouldn’t have cared if I’d come second at all. If there’s any disappointment it comes from how I was jumping not from the placing.”
New Zealand’s other competitor in the pole vault 18 year old Olivia McTaggart finished ninth with a height of 4.30m.
The former national junior and youth champion had come back from injury, injuring her ankle during the warm up at the New Zealand championships in Hamilton last month.
“I was really close to my PB, it was really hard not to get that, but considering my build up I’m really happy, I can’t complain.
“The atmosphere was crazy, and I’m so proud of Eliza getting that second, it was so awesome to see. It ended up to be a really tough competition and it was good to be part of it.
“My opening height 3.85m was nice and easy, four metres was a little bit scary and I had to get it second attempt and then 4.15m and on from there I felt a lot more confident, and the 4.30m where the bar just stayed there.
“It was really hard at the 4.40m as I’ve been going for that PB for so long, it is my PB. So considering my injuries and everything that I’ve been through I’m just so proud to be here,” said McTaggart.
Dame Valerie claims fifth consecutive Commonwealth medal
Dame Valerie Adams was not disappointed in missing out on her fourth Commonwealth gold medal in the shot put.
After leading the competition with her first round throw of 18.70m right up to the fifth round, Dame Valerie was passed by Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd, producing the winning performance of 19.36m.
Adams was unable to snatch it back with her final attempt of 18.55m and settled for the silver medal.
“I’m happy with that,” was Adams reaction coming off the field.
“It’s been an amazing six months of my life, it’s been incredible, today I left my heart out there it was a great fight, Danniel deserved to win today she threw a massive throw, she’s young (25), she’s strong.
“She’s in shape, she’s just come back from world indoors with a silver medal from there,” said Adams.
“It was a great competition and I’m honoured to wear the fern once again.”
Adams didn’t realise what the challenges would be coming back from childbirth with a daughter Kimoana six months ago.
"All I knew was that I wanted to give this a good crack. Six weeks ago in practice I was throwing just 16 metres and our progress has been pretty incredible since then. I must give a massive ups to my coach Scott Goodman who has just been nothing but phenomenal, and also to my mother in law who has been able to look after my baby while I trained and lived my dream of a fifth consecutive Commonwealth Games.
At my first Commonwealth Games I was sixteen, today I’m an old 33 year old,” said Adams.
“I’m so proud to be a Kiwi, I’m so proud and honoured that there are so many Kiwi’s out here tonight, and it feels like we competed in New Zealand.”
Canadian Brittany Crew who competed against Dame Valerie in New Zealand before the Games was third with 18.32m.