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U.S. Women's Pole Vaulter Jenn Suhr Wins Stunning Gold in London

Yahoo Contributor Network

Amid rainy conditions and strong winds buffeting competitors, American Jenn Suhr captured the women's pole vault gold medal at the London Games on August 6.

Yarisley Silva of Cuba took the silver, while Yelena Isinbaeva of Russia was awarded the bronze.

The field was reduced to the three eventual medalists when the bar reached 4.70 meters. Suhr and Silva cleared the bar on their second attempts, while Isinbaeva, suffering the lingering effects of a leg injury from May, missed on her first two attempts and passed on a third.

All three of them failed to clear 4.80 meters.

Suhr earned the gold because Silva had earlier missed the first attempt at her opening height.

Jenn Suhr, (nee Stuczynski), was the silver medalist in Beijiing, clearing 4.80 meters, and was definitely considered a medal favorite again in London.

However, Isinbaeva won the 2004 and 2008 Olympic golds, is a five-time world champion, and has raised the women's pole vault world record to 5.06 meters-accomplished in 2009.

So many observers expected Isinbaeva to emerge from the competition in London with her third consecutive gold, while other top competitors would battle it out for the remaining two spots on the podium.

But a great performance by Suhr in adverse weather conditions, with a hobbled Isinbaeva unable to do her best, combined to make Suhr the gold medalist.

Suhr commented after her win: "It's very emotional. It's something you work very hard for for four years. And heartbreak and joy and some more heartbreak. To overcome it and come out on top...I knew I was going to be emotional."

As for winning the gold at the expense of the great Isinbaeva, Suhr said: "To beat Yelena and her resume and her record, it's an honor. That's the only thing I can say, to have someone so good in the field and come out on top, it really is an honor. It's a special title in that situation."

Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and looks forward to more drama and excitement from the London Games.

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