Birmingham Bronze for Stefanidi

Birmingham Bronze for Stefanidi 1

Stefanidi bronze

Pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi captured the bronze medal at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

The Greek entered the competition at 4.70m, and by that point, three of the 12 finalists had already been eliminated. Stefanidi cleared that height on her first attempt with ease and automatically moved into first place. She needed two attempts to clear the bar at 4.75m. After the completion of that round, Stefanidi was one of just five women left in the competition, so the chances of grabbing a medal seemed very good for her.

Russian Anzhelika Sidorova would clear 4.80m on her first attempt, meaning that the Greek would have to clear that height if she were to win a medal. After missing on her first two tries, Stefanidi narrowly cleared the bar on her third and final attempt at that height. Despite rattling the bar, it stayed up. This meant that the Greek was guaranteed a medal at this point since there were only two other girls left in the competition, Sidorova and American Sandi Morris.

Stefanidi would miss her first attempt at 4.85m, a height which she had cleared last year to win the European Indoor Championships. Sidorova would once again clear the bar on her first attempt, meaning that Stefanidi would need to clear 4.90m if she were to stay in the running for gold.

Two misses at 4.90m saw Stefanidi bow out of the competition with the bronze medal. Morris would take the gold with a winning jump of 4.95m, a record for this event. Sidorova won silver with 4.90m being her best jump of the day.

This is now Stefanidi’s second bronze medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, as she repeated her result from two years ago. Since then, she had become the European champion (outdoor and indoor), Olympic champion, World champion (outdoor), and Diamond League champion. As World indoor champion was the only achievement missing from her illustrious resume, she will now have to wait until 2020 for another chance to achieve this incredible feat.

Greece’s other big hope for a medal today was Paraskevi Papachristou in the triple jump. The Greek, who won a bronze at this event in 2016, was unable to make it onto the podium. She finished sixth in the final with a jump of 14.05m.

Kostas Douvalidis finished third in his heat in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.66 seconds. This performance was enough for him to qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held tomorrow. Also competing tomorrow for Greece will be 2014 champion Kostas Filippidis and teenage sensation Emmanouil Karalis, as both will be taking part in the men’s pole vault final.

by Andrew Stamas

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