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  • Thathe Msimango

'I didn't think I would get a medal' says Mire Reinstorf as she breaks African Record at World U20's

Pole Vault rising star Mire Reinstorf stole the headlines after securing South Africa's first medal on the opening day of the World Athletics U20 Championships at the Kasarani International Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday.


Reinstorf cleared 4.15m with her first attempt to bag gold in the women's pole vault final, as she saw off the challenge from Elise Russis of France (who also cleared 4.15m) but lost to Reinstorf on count-back. In the process, the 19-year-old South African shattered Syrine Balti of Tunisia's 19-year old African women's U20 record of 4.10m.

19-year old Reinstorf is the new African junior record holder in the pole vault after winning gold in Nairobi. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres for World Athletics.

"I'm so happy and so grateful. It's my first international competition," she said shortly after her historic achievement."I'm so grateful that it turned out this way as I didn't think I would get a medal. The weather conditions weren't cold or warm so it was good to jump in," explained the young woman who completed her schooling at Höerskool Outeniqua in George where she was also a promising sprint hurdler.


Reinstorf who began working with coach Jean-Paul Van As this year at the Boland Pole Vault Academy is delighted with the progress she has made in 2021. "I started the season with 4.12m (Boland Meeting) then at the SA Junior Championships I think I made 3.90, not too sure (3.95m). But at the national senior championship, I jumped 4.00m. The way I have been jumping I can see the progress and I'm so happy about that."


Reinstorf in action at the 2019 SA Senior Track and Field Championships. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

Although she grew up on a farm and did not watch much television, Reinstorf says she recently followed the Olympic Games and was inspired by US Pole Vault star Katie Nageotte who claimed the gold medal in Tokyo.

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