Athletics: Eliza McCartney clears allcomers record in injury return

Eliza McCartner celebrates
Eliza McCartney clears a height at the Potts Classic. Photo credit: Photosport

Olympic pole vault bronze medallist Eliza McCartney has made a successful comeback to competition, with a 4.85m clearance at the Potts Classic meeting in Hastings.

The height was still nine centimetres short of her 4.94m national record, achieved at Jockgrim, Germany, last July, but it broke McCartney's resident and allcomers record of 4.82m, which she cleared in February 2017.

She actually went higher (4.90m) at the Sky Tower exhibition event in Auckland last year, but the clearance was not recognised as a record, because of the gently sloping temporary runway.

This latest performance also represents an encouraging return, after a troublesome heel injury cut her 2018 campaign short.

McCartney, 22, won the event from Finn Wilma Murto (4.41m) and young Kiwi protégé Olivia McTaggart (4.31m), and her clearances was the highest in the world so far this year.

She went on to attempt 5m, which only two women have ever achieved.

World indoor and outdoor shot put champion Tom Walsh also opened his season's account at the meeting, tossing 21.38m to win by more than a metre from Kiwi rival Jacko Gill.

The result marks a successful return for Gill (20.29m), who had to withdraw from last year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, after suffering a life-threatening heart condition.

Walsh's distance was also the best throw in the world so far this year.