Nina Kennedy has defied windy conditions to win the women’s pole vault at the Sir Graeme Douglas International in Auckland.
Kennedy claimed her third straight victory this season after 18 months out of competition, clearing 4.50m at the bronze level meet on the World Athletics Continental Tour.
Kennedy was the last to enter the competition at 4.32m, clearing the height on her third and final attempt before raising the bar to 4.50m.
After jumping 4.50m on her second attempt, the bar was raised to 4.60m, with Kennedy just short of bettering her season’s best of 4.55m.
The 22-year-old West Australian finished well ahead of New Zealand’s Hannah Philpot and Australian Lisa Campbell (both 3.82m).
“The conditions weren’t too crash hot,” Kennedy conceded after the event. “It’s definitely no excuse, you don’t know what you are going to get out on those big major comps outside.
“Considering the conditions, there was no rain, which was a positive, 4.50 in those is not too bad.”
Kennedy will continue to chase an Olympic qualifier in the coming weeks.
“I am chasing that auto Olympic qualifier 4.70m, it is definitely in my capability,” Kennedy said. “This is my third comp of the season, I haven’t jumped in 18 months so definitely just finding my feet still.
“Hopefully give me some nice sunny weather and good conditions and that 4.70 will be there.”