Commonwealth Games champion Kurtis Marschall has taken
fourth place in the men’s pole vault at the Shanghai Diamond League in China.
The 21 year-old was competing for the first time since
his famous win at April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and his first meet since
relocating to Perth to train with the WAIS pole vault squad.
Marschall was jumping in elite company, with the Diamond
League fixture attracting French pole vault legend Renaud Lavillenie amongst
many other world class names.
After passing at the opening height of 5.31m, Marschall
required two attempts at 5.46m and a further two attempts at his next height of
Conditions in the Shanghai stadium offered a little of
everything, with warm and humid weather permeated by brief showers.
As the competition advanced, Marschall placed himself
firmly in medal calculations with a third attempt clearance at 5.71m reducing
the 11-strong field to just four.
The Australian track and field star had three good looks
at 5.81m, which would have elevated his personal best by a centimetre had he cleared.
Instead, he settled for fourth place on countback from China’s Changrui Xue in
Only Lavillenie and Polish vaulter Piotr Lisek could
negotiate 5.81m, with both men over at the second attempt. Neither could clear
at 5.86m, leaving the Frenchman victorious on countback.