Sidorova, Stefanidi, Morris and Nageotte set for epic battle

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2020 Summer Olympic Games

23 July – 8 August 2021
Tokyo, Japan

The top-ranked quartet of Anzhelika Sidorova, Katerina Stefanidi, Sandi Morris and Katie Nageotte will battle for glory in the Women’s Pole Vault at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The Qualification for the event will be held on Monday 2 August, with the Final on Thursday 5 August.

Russian athlete Sidorova, who competes under the R.O.C. (Russian Olympic Committee) banner at these Games, is the number one ranked Women’s Pole Vaulter in 2021, having held the position for almost two years after winning the event at the World Championship in Doha 2019.

However, she faces a major threat from Greek athlete Katerina Stefanidi (number two in the rankings), who won the Gold Medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the United States pair of Sandi Morris and Katie Nageotte (ranked third and fourth respectively).

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Nageotte, despite being ranked outside the top three, is a co-favourite to take home gold alongside Sidorova. At the U.S. Olympic Trials at the end of June, Nageotte cleared a season-best 4.95m, and followed that up with a win in Monaco a week later, topping 4.9m. Sidorova has cracked 4.95 twice, but not since February 2020.

“I’m going in with the mentality of, ‘Let’s go to win,’ and I definitely want a medal. I definitely want to bring home the gold medal for the U.S. But I know that anything can happen so I’ve just got to keep my head down and keep training hard,” said Nageotte.

Morris, the Silver Medal winner from 2016, is hoping to go one step up the podium this time around: “My emotions going into that Olympics were very different than now,” she explained. “I was just a kid having fun, and I don’t think it truly sank in how likely I was to medal until I actually did it. This time around, expectations are high. I am on the radar of the media because I am a medalist from Rio, and it can be quite overwhelming.”

The 29-year-old added that beyond her goal of being an Olympic champion or world record holder, she wants to be remembered for her grit: “I think what I want more than anything else is for people who watched me throughout my career to think back and say ‘Dang, that Sandi. She was a tough competitor. No matter the circumstances she would show up and compete.'”

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Published: 07/28/2021