Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field

Alysha Newman sets new Canadian record in women's pole vault

Alysha Newman returned to record-breaking form Friday night, setting a new Canadian mark in women's pole vault with a clearance of 4.76 metres at the Speed River Inferno track and field meet in Guelph, Ont.

Clears 4.76 metres at Speed River Inferno; Melissa Bishop-Nriagu breaks meet record in 800

Canada's Alysha Newman cleared 4.76 metres to win the women’s pole vault and improve her Canadian outdoor record on Friday night at the Speed River Inferno track and field meet in Guelph, Ont. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press/File)

Alysha Newman returned to record-breaking form Friday night, setting a new Canadian mark in women's pole vault with a clearance of 4.76 metres at the Speed River Inferno track and field meet in Guelph, Ont.

The native of London, Ont., broke the Commonwealth Games record in April 2018 by clearing 4.75 last year in Australia; that record doubled as the Canadian women's outdoor mark.

Newman, 24, also broke her own national indoor record on Feb. 2, reaching 4.71 en route to a tie for first place at an IAAF indoor meet in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Newman's 2018 season was cut short in late May after she heard a pop in her left knee during warmup at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League track and field meet in Oregon.

Later diagnosed with a six-millimetre tear in the middle of the patellar tendon, which attaches the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the shinbone, Newman opted not to have surgery, given the approximate six-month recovery time so close to this year's world championships and 2020 Olympics next summer.

She resumed full training last October at Bolton Pole Vault following months of rest and extensive physiotherapy, and returned to competition indoors in mid-January.

Westaway pushes Bishop-Nriagu

Newman opened her outdoor campaign at the Diamond League meet in Shanghai on May 18, finishing seventh (4.52). Friday's performance qualifies her for worlds and the Olympics.

In the women's 800 metres, 2015 world silver medallist Melissa Bishop-Nriagu set a meet record on Friday with a time of two minutes 1.80 seconds at Alumni Stadium.

University of Guelph student Jenna Westaway placed second in 2:01.80. In February, she broke Bishop-Nriagu's 800 indoor record at the Boston University Last Chance Meet, two weeks after shattering the Canadian 1,000 record (2:37.04) at the Boston Valentine race.

Bishop-Nriagu returned to competitive running on May 18, winning the 1,500 in a personal-best 4:09.36 at the Johnny Loaring Classic in her hometown of Windsor, Ont.

In 2017, she married Osi Nriagu and gave birth to daughter Corinne last July.

Up next for the 30-year-old is the Harry Jerome Track Classic on June 20 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C.

About the Author

Doug Harrison has covered the professional and amateur scene as a senior writer for CBC Sports since 2003. Previously, the Burlington, Ont., native covered the NHL and other leagues for Faceoff.com. Follow the award-winning journalist @harrisoncbc

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.