Career-best for gritty Mccartney
that would allow her to unravel that potential so clearly lurking within.
‘‘I was so happy,’’ she told Stuff from Eugene. ‘‘I’ve been doing the heights in training, so I was just waiting for the right competition to come along. The conditions were so lovely, I felt very ready.
‘‘I had quite a fighting attitude, and I wasn’t going to stop until I got to the heights I knew I was capable of. It was amazing to finally get over that 4.85.’’
We’ve all known this was coming, of course. She’d cleared her previous best of 4.82m early in 2017, before being undone by a debilitating Achilles tendon injury that put the handbrake on her season. Then she’d soared over 4.90m in March at the Vertical Pursuit in downtown Auckland, only for the purpose-built runup to be ruled a little too downhill for official purposes.
But the niggles just wouldn’t go away. A minor hamstring strain just before her Commonwealth Games silver medal campaign forced her to bypass the Diamond League opener in Doha, and she headed to Oregon on the back of a restricted buildup.
‘‘It feels like it’s been a long time coming,’’ she said, ‘‘because I’ve been jumping well in training, and in competitions I’ve been getting massive height over the bars and I haven’t been able to nail the timing.
‘‘So it’s a relief to get it done. I’ve got the whole season ahead, and the idea is to get lots of competitions in so I get lots of chances to keep bringing up those heights.’’
Mccartney credited the late decision to pull out of Doha as important. ‘‘I gave myself a couple of weeks to get it sorted, and it’s worked.’’
Losing first place on a countback detracted not one iota from Mccartney’s sense of achievement.
‘‘No way I’m disappointed,’’ she declared. ‘‘I’m so happy I could do that with everything that was against me, with the long-haul flight and the niggles here and there.’’
Was this Mccartney back on track? ‘‘I think so. I’ve struggled a lot with injuries the last couple of years and it’s been a constant battle. I’m certainly not pain-free, but it’s good enough to compete and I’m in the right shape.
‘‘It’s just the lack of training that’s really frustrating. I need to get on and keep this streak going and stay injuryfree.’’
Mccartney returns to New Zealand for a fortnight before heading to Europe for the buildup to her next Diamond League meet in Lausanne on July 5.