Kurtis Marschall claims pole vault bronze in Budapest


Pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall has become the first Australian man in eight long years to win a world athletics championships medal, equalling his personal best to claim bronze in a high-quality final dominated by the great Armand Duplantis.

Marschall surged into contention with a first-time clearance at 5.95 metres on Saturday night (early Sunday AEST) but came up just short with his three attempts at 6m.

It was still good enough for a share of the bronze with American Christopher Nilsen.

"I missed the first attempt at 5.90 and then it was a ballsy move to go to 5.95 after a miss," said Marschall, who stood up when it mattered most in Budapest after bombing out in qualifying in last year's world championships in Eugene and failing to register a height in the Tokyo Olympics final.

"But I just knew I could clear it because I cleared it earlier this season, and 5.95 is normally the bar that gets you in the medals.

"I managed to clear it first attempt to my complete elation."

Swedish world record holder Duplantis won gold with 6.10m and Ernest John Obiena from the Philippines took the silver with 6m.

With the gold medal already in his keeping, Duplantis then had three attempts at 6.23m.

Had he been successful, the Swede would have bettered his own world record by one centimetre.

Marschall spent several weeks in Stockholm earlier this year training alongside  Duplantis and is the first to admit that his great mate is in another league to everyone else.

"I don't expect to ever be that guy for the rest of my career and if I do I am super lucky," said Marschall.

"He is like a generational talent and to just be up in the medals with that guy who is pushing the sport forward is awesome."

The 26-year-old Marschall became the first Australian man to claim a spot on the world championships podium since Fabrice Lapierre finished second in the long jump in Beijing in 2015.

The previous nine medals won by Australians at the world titles were all claimed by female athletes.

Marschall's bronze was the second part of a double triumph in Budapest for coach Paul Burgess.

His stable also includes Nina Kennedy, who shared the women's vault gold with American Katie Moon earlier in the championships.

"I feel like I am just trying to follow in her footsteps," said Marschall.

"She definitely inspired me and pushed me, I get to see her day-to-day and see how professional she is and how awesome she is."

Marschall's bronze was the fourth medal won by Australia in Budapest, equalling the nation's best medal haul at a world titles.

Australia also won four medals in Seville in 1999 and Berlin in 2009.

That tally could well be eclipsed on Sunday, with defending champion Eleanor Patterson and 2023 world leader Nicola Olyslagers both legitimate gold-medal shots in the women's high jump.