Athletics: Kiwi pole vaulter Eliza McCartney eyes hallowed five-metre mark

With the Olympics fast-approaching, New Zealand's Eliza McCartney's is closing in on pole vault's elusive five-metre-mark.

On Saturday, McCartney marked her return from injury by breaking the NZ allcomers record at the Potts Classic vaulting 4.85. But it's not the record she's celebrating.

"In terms of how I was feeling and how I was mentally focused and attacking it, I think that was the best shot that I've given it," McCartney told Newshub.

Only three female vaulters have ever cleared the hallowed five-metre mark, and McCartney's certain she can be the fourth.

"I know it's there, I just don't know when it's going to come.

That's despite only returning to competition on Saturday after five months off.

"I often come back better and I think it's that you're mentally refreshed and there's more adrenaline because you know you've just got to give it a go, while you can, while you're not injured."

Her successful return is a relief as she ramps up her run to the Tokyo Games.

"Yeah really happy," said coach Jeremy Coll. "This is her season opener and she's never jumped 4.85 before in her first meet in New Zealand.

Last May, that height was her personal best. Now that mark sits just six centimetres off five metres.

It's a meteoric rise which makes this Olympic Qualification year feel all the more different.

"It makes it seem like there's more riding on it, and I was going to have to do it at some point," said McCartney.

"It's coming up. I'm jumping well, I'm in good form, I think it's going to be very different, but I'm ready.

Her next major event's in March with the Nationals Champs but most of her focus will be on September's World Champs in Doha.