The Herald reports:
Eliza McCartney is the toast of New Zealand sport today after pulling off a stunning bronze medal performance in Rio.
The 19-year-old from North Harbour equalled her personal best 4.80m to nail the third place on a countback from Australian Alana Boyd and nothing could shake the excitement from her.
“My cheeks are so sore and my eyes are red from crying. I’m so happy,” she laughed.
McCartney has won New Zealand’s 16th medal of the Rio Games and while she was ranked eighth going into the event, it was still a tall order for a jumper who only joined the senior ranks at the world indoor championships in Portland, Oregon in March.
It was the biggest day of McCartney’s rapidly burgeoning career and she was determined to enjoy it. At one point she clapped at a medal ceremony; she congratulated another vaulter for clearing a key jump with a quiet word, her routine and rhythm was bang on and she made the most of it.
“In Portland, I got quite caught up in the hype, but also my nerves. I learnt a bit about that. It was the first time I’d been competing against senior girls. Now I feel I know them so that’s fine.”
The important point for McCartney was she started with a rush.
She cleared 4.50m, 4.60m, 4.70m and 4.80m with her first attempt each time.
Such a great competitor. She’ll be a great medal prospect also at Toyko.