13 April 2018
AUSTRALIA's latest polevaulting star Kurtis Marschall showed that he was a young man who thrived on the big stage no matter what pressure he faced.
Marschall, 20, produced a stunning performance to grab the gold medal in the men's pole vault when he cleared 5.7m on his third attempt after missing his first vault of 5.45m.
With the eyes of a nation fixed on the SASI champ, Marschall stood tall in a fluctuating final to edge out Canada's 2015 world champion Shawnacy Barber. Marschall looked a big chance for victory when he cleared 5.55m but was challenged by Barber with the pair locked in battle at 5.70m.
But Barber just missed his attempt while Marschall produced a stunning vault with the crowd yelling support and nearby Aussie athletes, shining in other field events at the same time, giving him extra drive.
Ironically one of the athletes Marschall looks up to, Olympic champion Steve Hooker, was in the commentary box during Marschall's competition.
Marschall said the home crowd and the occasion played a major part in his success.
''Third attempt, man. I have never been in that sutiation before going for the gold,'' Marschall said.
''I have learend from past mistakes and I knew how to do it so I just executed my processes, kept a cool head, used the crowd and it worked.''
Once the gold medal was secured Marschall set the bar at 5.81m, attempting to beat Hooker's Commonwealth Games of 5.8m set in 2006 in Melbourne.
But Marschall's three attempts failed leaving Hooker's record safe for the time being.
Marschall has produced excellent results at world championships and just missed the final at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He will be one to watch in 2020!
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