Stefanidi vaults to the top of the European lists with 4.80m in Athens

Ekaterini Stefanidi
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Ekaterini Stefanidi cleared a European-leading height of 4.80m in Athens on Friday

Ekaterini Stefanidi is nearing her very best form again with the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships less than 50 days away.

After some indifferent early season form which included a seventh-place finish in the Eugene Diamond League where she cleared 4.60m, a frustrated Stefanidi said on her Instagram page: "Everything is coming together in the right order. I would just like it to come together a little sooner if possible."

That performance was followed by a no-height in the Oslo Diamond league and another 4.60m clearance at the Filothei Women's Gala but Stefanidi was to show the sort of form which took her to a hat-trick of major outdoor titles in the space of thirteen months at the Athens Street Pole Vault meet, a European Athletics Outdoor Special Premium Meeting, on Friday (22) evening. 

Stefanidi, whose outdoor season's best prior to tonight stood at 4.64m, vaulted faultlessly at the Syntagma Square, clearing her opening height of 4.56m, followed by 4.66m and then a European-leading mark of 4.73m at her first attempts.

Stefanidi led on countback from former world champion Yarisley Silva from Cuba at that point but the reigning world champion maintained her unblemished card, extending the European lead to 4.80m at the first time of asking to secure the victory before three attempts at a prospective Greek record of 4.92m.

Silva finished second with 4.73m while Holly Bradshaw and Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou, who held the European lead at 4.72m prior to this evening, were equal third at 4.66m by virtue of identical cards.

"Since Filothei, the training has been very good and this allowed us to say that it might have been possible today to see big jumps and even a Greek record," said Stefanidi.