Ca­reer-best for gritty Mccart­ney

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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