Olyslagers inspired by champion Patterson


John Salvado / AAP News

When it came down to the pointy end of the world championships high jump final, Eleanor Patterson had few bigger supporters than Nicola Olyslagers.

Last year at the Tokyo Olympics it was Olyslagers (or McDermott as she was then known) who grabbed the headlines with a silver medal, and Patterson taking fifth.

On a steamy Tuesday evening at Hayward Field, Olyslagers bowed out after three misses at 1.98m leaving her in a tie for fifth.

She then watched on in animated fashion as Patterson cleared 2.00m at the second attempt and then sailed over at her first crack at 2.02m.

It tied the Australian record set by Olyslagers last year in Tokyo and turned out to be the gold medal-winning effort, with Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh relegated to silver.

Australia is now a global high jump powerhouse for the first time, with Patterson joining John Winter (1948 London Olympics) as Australia’s only world or Olympic champions in the discipline.

“I think I was more excited for Eleanor than myself,” Olyslagers told AAP.

“I had a good competition, the 1.98s had good clearance but there were some technical things (wrong).

“We always want to peak at the right times and last year I did that really well.

“So just to see Eleanor not only get a PB but absolutely clear it, we’ve got a new national record coming up and I’m going to be training hard.

“She’s leading the way now and we’ve been playing tag team since the Olympics last year.

“I feel so proud of her, she’s so deserving, such a hard worker.

“I’m inspired and hopefully this isn’t the only world championships gold medal we’ll have and in future years the two of us will be in the podium together.”

The Australian duo will now be short-priced favourites to claim the top two spots on the podium next month at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.



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