OLYMPIC GOLD FOR KATERINA STEFANIDIS! The Greek athlete has won the GOLD medal in the Women’s Pole Vault Event. It is Greece’s 3rd gold medal at the Rio 2016 Games and the first gold medal in Track & Field since 2004. Her best jump was recorded at 4.85 meters!
The competition started at 4.35 meters with Stefanidis opting out of the “lower” jumps and starting at 4.60 meters. The Greek athlete successfully passed 4.60 meters and 4.70 meters on her first attempt and cleared 4.80 meters on her second attempt. The defending Olympic Champion Jenn Suhr (USA). and current World Champion Yarisley Silva (Cuba). could not clear 4.80 meters leaving them out early in the competition. Stefanidis continued, now as the favorite for the gold, along with 5 other athletes. On her second attempt, she jumped over 4.85 meters along with Sandy Morris from the United States, while the other three athletes could not clear the distance. This assured Stefanidis the silver medal!
Stefanidis was ranked first going into 4.90 meters, due to her better overall record (in comparison to Morris) earlier in the competition. Both athletes failed to clear 4.90 meters on their first two attempts and Stefanidis barley tipped the bar on her third attempt. With only one jump remaining for Sandy Morris, a successful jump would give her the gold while a missed attempt would give gold to Stefanidis. Morris’s leg grazed the bar as it came falling down, sending Stefanidis and Greece into celebration for another GOLD medal!
In London she finished 24th and four years later she is an Olympic Champion! Stefanifdis was expected to be a heavy contender for medal in today’s competition, after winning the European Championships earlier in the summer. This is Greece’s 6th medal at the Rio 2016 games and the 3rd Gold Medal!
The Greek National Anthem will be heard for the first time at the Rio Olympic Stadium tomorrow evening at the medal ceremony.
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