Finland’s Wilma Murto surprised everyone by winning the pole vault competition at the European Athletics Championships in Munich (Germany) on Wednesday evening with a bar cleared at 4.85m. Murto, who arrived in Munich with a personal best of 4.72m, broke Finland’s record three times. She is ahead of the Greek Aikaterini Stefanidi and the Slovenian Tina Sutej.
Stefanidi, Olympic champion in 2016 in Rio, erased all her first bars on the first try, leaving little hope for her rivals. But the Greek XXL winner (Olympic, European and world champion) failed at 4.80 m, for the first time of the evening, on a bar that Murto crossed on the first try. It was the turning point of the contest because Stefanidi then missed his last two tries, at 4.85m.
Sutej completes the podium after having stumbled at 4.80m, like Stefanidi, when she had also passed on the first attempt at 4.75m. Fourth place, just off the podium, was shared by Denmark’s Caroline Bonde den Holm and Switzerland’s Angelica Moser, with jumps of 4.55m. On the French side, Marie-Julie Bonnin, 20, took 6th place by beating her personal best, thanks to a bar erased at 4.55m, like den Holm and Moser, but she then failed at 4.65m. On the other hand, Margot Chevrier (10th), already a finalist at the Worlds in Eugene (United States) in July, was eliminated at 4.55m when she had brought her personal best to 4.70m this season.