With two failed pole vault attempts at 4.50 meters it looked like Katie Nageotte’s Olympic journey was over early. Contending with evident wind conditions, Nageotte and the 14 other women competing in the event final had difficulty clearing the bar at its lowest height of the session. But Nageotte refocused, nailed her third attempt and maintained that concentration until there were just four women left. And then she outlasted them all.
The 30-year-old from Cleveland claimed a gold medal in her Olympic debut by being the only competitor to complete a successful vault at 4.90 meters. Anzhelika Sidorova of the Russian Olympic Commission earned silver and Holly Bradshaw of Great Britain took bronze. Defending women’s pole vault gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, meanwhile, placed fourth.
After clinching the gold, Nageotte went for a new U.S. record in the form of a 5.01 vault but abandoned the attempt on the platform. Having already raised the bar, she was ready to celebrate her Olympic triumph instead.