‘It’s scary’: Pole vaulter Marschall snaps pole at Australian championships

Two-time Commonwealth champion Kurtis Marschall has been lucky to escape serious injury after snapping his pole in the vault final at the Australian athletics championships in Brisbane.

Eyeing what would have been a new outdoor personal best of 5.90 metres on Sunday at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre, Marschall selected a new pole – the longest he had ever used.

Pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall escaped serious injury after his pole snapped mid-jump.Credit:Getty Images

“All I could tell is I was running in as fast as I bloody could, it’s the best I’ve ever hit a pole, the biggest pole I’ve jumped on and the next minute I’m laying on the mat, my leg is aching, my arm is aching and I’ve got half a pole in my hand,” he said.

“Usually when it’s a clean break of a pole it breaks in three places, but that one just broke in one piece.

“There must have been a little nick in it.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever used that pole, I was in career hot shape to go jump over 5.90 on home soil and the equipment failed.”

Although he suffered nothing worse than a few scratches after crashing into the front of the mat, Marschall wisely decided to call it a day, having already claimed the win with his third-time clearance at 5.80m.

“I haven’t hurt myself heaps; it’s just whiplash,” said the 25-year-old.

“But I reckon considering the conditions with a headwind and the fact that I was pretty tired, I only had one good crack at 5.90 and it was going to be that jump.“

It was only the second time Marschall had broken a pole in competition, but he knew it could have been much worse.

“It’s scary,” he said.

“It happened in the qualifying round on Friday to the young kid Liam Georgilopoulos and he’s unfortunately walked away with a fractured hand from it and I’ve come away with just a slash on my wrist.”

Marschall will now return home to Perth for a two-month training block to complete preparations for his European summer campaign.

Already in 2023, he has improved his indoor and outdoor personal bests to 5.91m and 5.85m respectively.


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