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Vault Prospect Gets Gift of Poles

Posted November. 17, 2006 06:55,   


A compliment is the best way to encourage people. Shin Pil-lyul, president of the Korea Athletics Federation, gave special gifts to Choi Yoon-hee (20, Wonkwang University), who is trying to be the best in the field of female pole vaulting. The gifts were three poles, which cost around 1 million won each.

Female pole vaulting is a popular field sport in the world, but is not that popular in Korea. It is an official sport of the Olympic Games and Asian Games, but it is only an exhibition sport in Korea’s National Games.

Choi Yoon-hee has broken Korean records fifteen times from 2000 to the National Games last month. She is called the “Korean pretty bird,” after Yelena Isinbayeva, a Russian who has the world record (501m) and is called “pretty bird.”

Shin promised, “I will give her a reward (5 million won) and a big present” when Choi cleared metric barriers twice in the championships held in Gwangju in April 2005. Choi made another Korean record of 410 meters in the National Games last month.

The pole is the most essential element in the pole vault. The length and the elasticity of it differ depending on the height of jumping. You need a proper pole when you jump over 4 meters and half.

Choi Yoon-hee revealed her joy with the news of getting new poles. Lee Won (65), a director, grinned widely and said, “If she strengthens her speed and the power with the new poles, she may win a medal in the Asian Games next month.”

The Korea Athletics Federation also allowed Lee, who has been Choi’s director since she was in middle school, to visit the Asian Games. Lee does not have AD card because he is not a director of an official team, but he now is able to deliver advice to Choi in person during the games.