Alysha Newman will return home from Friday’s Diamond League final in Belgium with a podium finish after matching her outdoor Canadian pole vault record set five days earlier.
The smiling 23-year-old clipped the bar on her third and final attempt at 4.85 metres at the AG Memorial Van Damme meeting following her clearance of 4.75 to finish third, a height she jumped at the 19th International Pole Vault Meeting in Beckum, Germany last Sunday.
WHAT A NIGHT!WHAT A FINISH!Tying my life time best &Canadian record of 4.75m at the @diamondleagueathleticfinals !WOW,2018 where you attt 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/jLEGejRkeJ
Newman takes home $10,000 US for her efforts in Brussels to conclude a standout season that saw the London, Ont., native clear 4.65 nine times and place seventh in her debut at the world championships in London, England last month.
After beginning Friday’s competition at 4.30 and missing on her first try, she reeled off successful attempts at that height, 4.45 and 4.55 before becoming the first in Brussels to clear 4.65. That put a smile across the face of the confident-looking Canadian, who raised her arms to the crowd and later could be seen glowing and dancing on the sideline.
Reigning Olympic and world champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece and Sandi Morris followed suit on their first attempts at 4.65 and went on to finish 1-2, clearing 4.85 and 4.75, respectively, at King Baudouin Stadium.
Newman has come a long way since shattering Saskatoon native Kelsie Hendry’s 2008 national record of 4.55.
- In a span of three months in 2016, she jumped 4.60 and 4.61 at a University of Miami home meet in Coral Gables, Fla., and London’s Ribfest, respectively.
- She won the women’s event at the Canadian Olympic trials that July in Edmonton, clearing 4.40.
Last August, Newman was extremely tense at her Summer Games debut in Rio de Janeiro, where she shook off a broken sleep but struggled after clearing 4.45 on her first attempt, missing all three tries at 4.55 and didn’t advance to the final en route to a 17th-place finish.
After Rio, Newman joined coaches Doug Wood and Zeke Krykorka full-time at Bolton Pole Vault and made adjustments on the runway to create more pole speed and better recover energy out of the pole.
She began 2017 by setting a new Canadian indoor record of 4.65 in January at the Fred Foot Track and Field Memorial meet held at the University of Toronto’s Athletic…