Sandi Morris poses during the women's pole vault medal ceremony during the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 2022 on March 19, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Olympic medalist Sandi Morris defended her women’s pole vault title while reigning Olympic champ Katie Nageotte was just behind her at the indoor track and field world championships this weekend in Belgrade, Serbia.
Their performances highlighted a strong U.S. showing at the world championships, where American athletes led all countries with 19 medals, including three of them gold. Only Ethiopia had more gold medals with four.
An expected showdown between Morris and Nageotte at last summer’s Olympic Games was not to be after Morris’ pole broke on a rainy night in Tokyo, leading her to withdraw citing injury. There was no such bad luck Saturday in Belgrade. The American duo came into the event tied for the best mark this season, and Morris held on to win by clearing 4.80 meters to Nageotte’s 4.75 m.
“After a year like last year, when I was injured for the Olympics, you feel you have to prove yourself again,” Morris told the World Athletics website. “We’re so hard on ourselves and I wanted to go out and prove it to myself that I could still do it at this level.
“Today was about me fighting off my own internal demons. Doing it back-to-back was amazing, and doing it with my teammate and now training partner Katie was really special.”
Sunday was a special day for Grant Holloway as well. The reigning Olympic silver medalist in the men’s 110 hurdles, Holloway equaled his own world record during the semifinals of the 60-meter hurdles, clocking in at 7.29 seconds. He was a tenth slower in the final at 7.39 but still easily won over France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (7.50) to claim his first indoor world title. Team USA’s Jarret Eaton was third at 7.53.