Aussie's controversial act before winning gold at Commonwealth Games

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Australia's Nina Kennedy (pictured left) celebrating her gold medal in the women's pole vault and (pictured right) Kennedy jumping.
Australia's Nina Kennedy (pictured) won the women's pole vault with an incredible 4.60m jump, which was over the required 4.50m height needed for gold. (Getty Images)

Aussie pole vault sensation Nina Kennedy has won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, but it wasn't without drama after the star opted to jump higher than required.

Kennedy stunned viewers to win her first major title and also to become the first Australian to win gold since Alana Boyd in the 2014 Glasgow Games.

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The Aussie has overcome a number of injuries in recent years, but finally secured an elusive gold after finishing in third position at the 2018 Games.

Kennedy was filled with joy and alluded to her solid 2022 season - following her bronze at the world championships in Oregon last month - after the event.

“I’m feeling relieved, I really wanted that gold,” Kennedy said after the event.

“It feels incredible getting the bronze medal at the world championships and then having to come back and do this.

“I’m so happy, the crowd was incredible and this place is really special.”

However, her gold medal attempt wasn't without its shock factor.

Imogen Ayris, Nina Kennedy and Sophie Cook, pictured here after the women's pole vault final at the Commonwealth Games.
Imogen Ayris, Nina Kennedy and Sophie Cook celebrate after the women's pole vault final at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Nina Kennedy pushes boundaries in gold medal effort

When attempting her gold medal jump, Kennedy decided to make things harder for herself.

The gold medal target was 4.50m.

But Kennedy opted to skip the height - and skip 4.55m - to attempt 4.60m in an audacious decision with the medal on the line.

Kennedy was confident for a reason and wanted to lock in the gold medal.

Channel 7's David Culbert wasn't so sure in commentary when he questioned the move.

“I don’t like it,” Culbert said.

“Why? That’s the question. It was unnecessary pressure. She didn’t need to make it that tough.”

Kennedy didn't appear to feel the pressure as she cleared the same height that earned her bronze four years ago.

Fans went wild for Kennedy's achievement with Aussie track great Sally Pearson leading the applause.

British pole vaulter Molly Caudery finished in second, while New Zealand's Imogen Ayris in third.

Australians have now won the women's pole vault on six of the seven occasions it has been contested at Commonwealth level - a sequence broken only when Canadian Alysha Newman saluted four years ago on the Gold Coast.

"I am so proud of myself," said the 25-year-old Kennedy.

"I was mentally quite flat after the world championships.

"I'd done such a great job and then to come here and repeat such a big effort was hard."

Newman was forced to pull out early in Tuesday's final due to a leg injury.

With Olympics bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw from England also a last-minute withdrawal due to injuries suffered when she snapped her pole mid-vault in Eugene, there was no-one left in the field with a personal best anywhere near Kennedy's 4.82m.

with AAP

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