'Incredible display': Nina Kennedy breaks Australian pole vault record

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Nina Kennedy, pictured here breaking the Australian pole vault record.
Nina Kennedy broke the Australian pole vault record. Image: Athletics Australia

Nina Kennedy is the new Australian pole vault record holder after breaking Alana Boyd's mark on Saturday night.

Using one of Boyd's old poles, Kennedy smashed the two-time Commonwealth champion's Australian record at the Sydney Track Classic.

On a night where several of Australia's leading female athletes excelled, Kennedy was the standout.

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The 23-year-old powered over the bar at 4.82m at her first attempt, adding seven centimetres to her personal best and consigning the five-year-old mark of 4.81m set by the now-retired Boyd to the history books.

"I'm just happy that it's done and I got it tonight," said Kennedy.

"I've attempted it about five or six times this this season, so to just nail it on my first attempt, I'm so happy.

"I've had my last two comps where I've jumped on new poles and it hasn't quite worked so I actually used ... Alana Boyd's poles.

"So thanks Alana, here's a shout-out."

Riley Day sets new Personal Best in 200 metres

Meanwhile, fellow female star Riley Day smashed her PB with an Olympic qualifier of 22.77 seconds in the women's 200m.

"I knew that I was running fast, I just needed some good conditions and I had a perfect 2.0 (metres per second tailwind)," said Day.

"I couldn't be more happy.

"I've had a lot of injuries and there has been some pressure on me, people saying that I've had my day and all I've wanted to do was prove them wrong and run for myself."

Day shot to prominence as a 16-year-old when she ran against against Usain Bolt in the short-lived Nitro Series in 2017.

Nina Kennedy, pictured here posing next to her Australian Pole Vault record of 4.82m.
Nina Kennedy poses next to her Australian Pole Vault record of 4.82m at the Sydney Track Classic. (AAP Image/Brendon Thorne)

Dani Stevens makes epic return in discus

Competing for the first time in 16 long months after recovering from spinal surgery, former world discus champion Dani Stevens (63.36m) also made a winning return in Sydney.

Had the Tokyo Olympics taken place as scheduled in July last year, there's no way Stevens would have been there.

But with COVID-19 pushing the Games back by 12 months, Stevens' dream of finally winning an Olympic medal to go with her 2009 gold and 2017 silver at the world titles and back-to-back Commonwealth crowns remains very much alive.

"I have to keep it in perspective," said Stevens.

"This time last year was really, really hard; I'd just come out of surgery and couldn't lift my arm.

"My priority was just to get function back (and see) if I could ever throw discus again, which I'm able to do now

"It's made my realise how much I love it, how much I missed throwing, how much I missed competing."

Two days after bettering the Olympic qualifying standard in her favoured 1500m in Canberra, in-form Linden Hall stepped down in distance to win the women's 800m in 2:01.27.

Commonwealth champion Kurtis Marschall was an impressive victor of the men's pole vault with 5.75m, while Matthew Ramsden and Jenny Blundell won the national 5000m titles.

Para-athlete Michael Roeger stripped more than six seconds off his 5000m T46 world record with a time of 14:00.25.

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with AAP

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