29 July, 2019

Will Morris once more jump (and sing) the stars from the sky ?

Three years ago, Pole Vaulter Sandi Morris was the author of one of the most memorable moments in the history of the AG Memorial Van Damme. She phenomenally leapt over a bar at 5m00. Her musical press conference afterwards was at least as legendary. Will the American be jumping (and singing) the stars from the sky again this year in Brussels ?

Three pole vaulters have already qualified for the IAAF Diamond League Final in Brussels: Anzhelika Sidorova, Katerina Stefanidi and Sandi Morris. After the remaining qualifying meetings in Birmingham and Paris, the rest of the field will get a 'Q' added to their name.

Both Stefanidi (reigning World and Olympic Champion) and Morris (reigning World Indoor Champion) keep good memories of the AG Memorial Van Damme. The Greek crowned herself as the Diamond League Champion two years ago and in 2016 Morris proved to be the best in a roaring King Baudouin stadium with a massive jump over 5m00, a new meeting record.

In that very 2016 Morris had to settle for silver at the Rio Olympics, but for Morris her victory at the Memorial is more valuable. "Brussels was the most memorable competition of my life, even better than the Olympic Games. It was a very special evening. All events were finished, only the Pole Vaulting was still going on... and I was the only athlete left. All spectators remained in the stadium, including the Belgian Royal Family. There were more than 40,000 spectators."

"The sound, the encouragement, it is indescribably. It was very loud and it was just for me ! When I jumped over 5m00 and landed back on the pitch, it felt like the world was silent for some 5 seconds. But when I looked back at the video, it turned out that it only took a split second for the audience to go crazy. The loudest scream of all time ! This was a significant moment in my career. I then realized that this is what I’m doing it all for !"

Just as memorable was Morris' press conference afterwards. Before the competition she promised that she would sing a song if she would break the meeting record. And she kept her word. Brilliantly.