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Women`s Pole Vault Steals Show at Nat`l Athletic Meet

Posted October. 23, 2009 09:07,   


The women’s pole vault at the National Athletic Meet at Hanbat Main Stadium in Daejeon yesterday saw two fierce rivals battle it out.

Lim Eun-ji and Choi Yun-hee began warming up an hour before the event, drawing heavy attention from spectators.

They exchanged neither looks nor words as tension rose at the stadium. Choi gnawed at her lips, saying, “Lim’s Korean record used to be mine. I just loaned it to her. I’ll definitely get it back.”

At the Taiwan International Pole Vault Championships in March, Lim cleared 4.24 meters to break Choi’s record of 4.16 meters set in last year’s National Athletic Meet.

In April, Lim even cleared 4.35 meters, setting a new Korean record and becoming Korea’s best pole vaulter just a year after taking up the sport.

Before suffering a crushing defeat, Choi had broken the Korean record 17 times but has now taken a backseat to Lim.

Their competition was intense from the beginning. Pole vaulters except Choi and Lim were eliminated early in the competition.

Initially, Choi and Lim cleared 3.80 meters. The next height was four meters. Choi cleared four meters, but Lim failed.

As Choi attempted to clear 4.10 meters, Lim made the same choice. After clearing 4.10 meters, Choi raised the height to 4.20 meters and Lim did the same.

Both failed to clear 4.20 meters, however, and the gold medal went to Choi because she cleared 4.10 meters.

“I felt comfortable until last year since I’d long thought I was the best pole vaulter in Korea. Lim is a precious person who helped me realize my idleness,” Choi said.

Lim added, “While competing against each other, we make each other work harder. That helps me a lot.”

Their competition will continue at the Gwangju Grand Prix Track and Field Championships next week.

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