Tokyo Olympics- Athletics: USA’s Katie Nageotte overcomes shaky start to win GOLD in women’s pole vault: American Katie Nageotte needed a third and final attempt to clear her opening height but overcame the nervous start to win the Olympic women’s pole vault gold medal on Thursday.
The 30-year-old arrived in Tokyo in red-hot form with two world-leading marks of 4.95 metres and 4.93, but she struggled to get over 4.50 to register her opening mark in the final.
“It was the worst warm-up I have had in a long time and I did an ugly first few jumps,” she said.
“It took me a few heights to get into it, but I was just fighting and I finally found a smooth jump. It came together.”
Nageotte’s clearance of 4.90 at the second attempt was enough to secure victory, however, as Anzhelika Sidorova and Britain’s Holly Bradshaw finished on 4.85.
World champion Sidorova, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, cleared her first four vaults at the first attempt to take the silver ahead of Bradshaw.
The pressure of competing in the Olympic final also showed on the other vaulters as the field was cut to four after the second round with the bar at 4.70. All four made it past the 4.80 mark too.