Sandi Morris competes at the IAAF Continental Cup on Sept. 8, 2018 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris set a new season’s best and a meet record in the women’s pole vault for her first Diamond League win of the year on Sunday.
Just days after the track and field series made a stop in Oslo, Norway, it moved to Rabat, Morocco, where Morris served notice on her first attempt at 4.82 meters. She cleared it, and despite three attempts Anzhelika Sidorova, an authorized neutral athlete, couldn’t match the effort.
With the win already in her grasp, Morris raised the bar even higher and went for a new world lead at 4.92 meters. The reigning indoor world champion didn’t make it, but her 4.82-meter jump stood for her sixth Diamond League victory. The previous meet record was 4.75 meters.
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Morris had previously finished second at the Golden Gala in Rome earlier in the month.
“It was a great day,” Morris said. “I am very satisfied with the result and the victory. We had a lot of headwind during the competition. It was a tough condition. But I was able to make some adjustments and to make some very good jumps. My priority this year is to be at my top at the world championships in Doha. But first I need to be selected in the U.S. team, so now I am focused on the U.S. trials at the end of June.”
Coming in third behind Sidorova was Morris’ teammate, Katie Nageotte, who vaulted a season’s best 4.67 meters. It was a special podium finish on Father’s Day for Nageotte, who has written “Dad” on the inside of her spike and tapped it before big jumps ever since her father passed away. On social media earlier in the day she wrote, “Always competing for you. Happy Father's Day, Dad! Miss and love you every single day. I'll be sure to tap my shoes a few extra times today.”
Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy took a third-place finish in the men’s 800 meters, finishing at 1:45.99. Botswana’s Nijel Amos won in 1:45.57 followed by Kenya’s Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir in 1:45.60. Amos and Korir were the only two athletes to run the 800 meters faster than Murphy did in 2018.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.