Rising star of Australian athletics, Kurtis Marschall (SA) has achieved the Olympic qualifying standard of 5.70m in the pole vault.
Marschall’s outstanding effort showcases a star on the rise, with the 19-year-old soaring over 5.70m to win the boy’s pole vault at the Bauhaus Junioren Gala in Mannheim (GER), as he continues to prepare for competition at the IAAF World Under 20 Championships next month.
Jumping on poles once used by 2001 world champion Dmitri Markov, Marschall set a new Australian Under 20 record, adding 10cm to the previous best held by 1996 world junior champion Paul Burgess. In doing so Marschall improved his personal best by 15 centimetres, ecstatic to have delivered an Olympic Games standard that, as Australian champion, will ensure his nomination for a debut start in the green and gold at an open age major championship.
“This is absolutely insane. I never expected to have a jump as big as the Rio standard in me this year. I’ve only attempted it a couple of times but this one was just perfect, everything about it was right. There was great conditions, I had my coach (Kym Simons) here with me, and it unfolded exactly as I wanted it too. I am absolutely over the moon. It’s just ridiculous,” Marschall said.
“Ever since I started Little Athletics I wanted to go the Olympic Games. I have been a successful athlete as a junior, but I never expected to live my dream at this age. To be on the road to Rio at 19 is something very special. I am so privileged to just have the opportunity and I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the next few weeks and months.”
Determined to arrive at the Olympic Games in the shape of his life, Marschall will now rapidly shift his focus back to medal winning success alongside the best junior athletes in the world at Bydgoszcz 2016.
“Bydgoszcz is first though, and it’s a huge priority. That’s where I saw the highlight of my year coming from and I am pumped to compete there. I have the biggest jump in the world for athletes my age, but I can’t rely on that. I have to carry this form with me to the next event and on to Rio from there,” Marschall said.
“The team environment I am in here, the support that I have around me here at the Australian camp, it’s perfect to make it happen so I’ll be doing my best to be the best I can be.