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Athletics - 13. June 2016.

Ekaterini Stefanidi hits the heights


Stefanidi hits the heights
Getty Images

Ekaterini Stefanidi cleared a world-leading 4.86m at the Filothei Women’s Gala outside of Athens.

Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi could not have chosen a more fitting place to reach the top of the world pole vault rankings.

Back at the stadium of the club where she spent her early years, Stefanidi, 26, was the star of the Filothei Women’s Gala as she cleared 4.86m.

Stefanidi had centimetres to spare on the height, producing a world-class series, going over first time at 4.60m, 4.74m and then the 4.86m.

When she attempted 5.00m, the swirling winds were not in her favour. Twice she had to halt her approach and while the third was her best, it was not be.

But her mark overtakes by two centimetres the previous world lead of Yarisley Silva and improves her best of the season by seven centimetres.

That previous height came at the IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham last Sunday, where she was second behind Silva as the Cuban cleared 4.84m.

Within a few days at this meeting in a suburb of Athens, Stefanidi has shown her rivals that she really will be a force at the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics and Olympic Games in Rio.

Stefanidi has become a consistent medallist over the past two years. She won silver at both the European Athletics Championships in Zurich 2014 and European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague seven months later before taking bronze at the world indoor championships in Portland in March.

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