Suhr brings home pole vault gold for U.S.
Mon, 06 Aug 2012 22:53:17 GMT —
Jenn Suhr walked with a purpose over to the stands to see her husband, who gingerly wrapped an American flag around her shoulders while she sobbed into his chest. Yes, they've come a long way together.
From training in a pair of huts connected together to form a jumping pit â?? to winning an Olympic gold medal on her sport's grandest stage.
Suhr, who won the silver medal in Beijing and has since fought through an Achilles injury and a long, mysterious, sometimes-debilitating illness that turned out to be a gluten allergy, got the Olympic gold she needed to round out her resume.
"It's very emotional," she said. "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, is something that whenever I thought of, I started crying. I knew it was going to be emotional."
She vaulted 15 feet, 7 inches (4.75 meters) to defeat Cuba's Yarisley Silva, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss in the competition.
Suhr also beat two-time defending Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who failed to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event at three consecutive Olympics.
Isinbayeva settled for bronze with a vault of 15-5 (4.70).
"To beat Yelena and her resume and her record, it's an honor," Suhr said. "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."
The Suhr victory, finished out in the spitting rain at Olympic Stadium after all the other events had concluded, was a surprise gold for the United States on a night when it couldn't catch a break anywhere else.