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New Aussie high jump record hits 2m mark

Nic Savage, April 19, 2021 7:00PM news.com.au

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Nicola McDermott competes in the Women's High Jump Final during the Australian Track & Field Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre on April 18, 2021 in Sydney, NSW. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraNicola McDermott competes in the Women's High Jump Final during the Australian Track & Field Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre on April 18, 2021 in Sydney, NSW. Picture: Getty Images

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Aussie Olympic team member Nicola McDermott has set a new national high jump record, becoming the first Australian woman to break the two-metre barrier.

Competing at the Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney on Sunday, McDermott cleared 2.00m on her second attempt to better the previous Oceania record of 1.99m set by Eleanor Patterson in February 2020.

The 24-year-old then had three unsuccessful attempts at 2.03m, but had already done more than enough to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics track-and-field team.

Patterson was unfortunately absent from the weekend’s action at Sydney Olympic Park due to injury.

*** BESTPIX *** Australian Track & Field Championships media_cameraNicola McDermott celebrates a cleared jump in the Women’s High Jump Final during the Australian Track & Field Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre on April 18, 2021 in Sydney, NSW. Picture: Getty Images

“I knew in my body I could do a lot higher, but the fear aspect of high jump is the thing that gets to you with the mind,” McDermott said after the event.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, because I’m still so in the zone because I know in order to get the gold in Tokyo you need to jump higher than two metres.

“I was really happy with it. Psychologically I wasn’t scared and if you’re not scared, you can jump so high.

“The world record is 2.09m. So I mean if you’re not scared of it, why not just go for it.

“We have all the building blocks in place. It is just a matter of building, I know my roots are good, I know I’ve got good strength, it’s just now adding to that.

“I’m not going to expect big heights, I’m going to make sure that there is big heights. I’m not going to give a reason for why they wouldn’t come.

“That’s the process I am going to replicate for Tokyo hopefully.”

Nicola McDermott breaks Australian high jump record (Seven Network)

McDermott won bronze in the high jump event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and has cemented* her spot as a genuine medal contender* in Tokyo.

Comparatively, Spanish athlete Ruth Beitia won gold at the 2016 Games in Rio by clearing 1.97m.

Meanwhile, discus thrower Dani Stevens became the first Australian to win the same event 14 times at national level, recording a best throw of 62.74m.

“I’m back to as close to 100 per cent as I could have hoped for,” Stevens said.

“I feel like I have some power and velocity* in my arm, which if I wasn’t close to 100 per cent then I wouldn’t have.”

Athletics Australia announced an initial selection of 20 athletes for Tokyo on Sunday afternoon, 12 of which will be making their maiden* Olympic appearance this year, including McDermott.

TOKYO OLYMPICS media_cameraHigh jumper Nicola McDermott (middle) is seen during an announcement of the Australian track and field team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre, in Sydney, NSW. Picture: NCA NewsWire

Tokyo Olympics track-and-field team (as of Sunday, April 18)

  • Rohan Browning — 100m
  • Jye Edwards — 1500m
  • Kurtis Marschall — pole vault
  • Cedric Dubler — decathlon
  • Ash Moloney — decathlon
  • Riley Day — 200m
  • Bendere Oboya — 400m
  • Catriona Bisset — 800m
  • Linden Hall — 1500m
  • Liz Clay — 100m hurdles
  • Genevieve Gregson — 3000m steeplechase
  • Nicola McDermott — high jump
  • Brooke Stratton — long jump
  • Nina Kennedy — pole vault
  • Dani Stevens — discus
  • Stewart McSweyn — 5000m and 10,000m
  • Dane Bird-Smith — 20km walk
  • Jessica Hull — 5000m
  • Jemima Montag — 20km walk
  • Kelsey Lee-Barber — javelin

GLOSSARY

  • cemented: secured
  • contender: in the running
  • velocity: rate at which something changes position; often used to meanspeed
  • maiden: first

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The history of the Olympic Games

Lone sprinter wins over crowd

QUICK QUIZ

  1. What event does Nicola compete in?
  2. What height did she clear in Sydney?
  3. What happened at the 2018 Commonwealth Games?
  4. What is the women’s high jump world record?
  5. Which event does Nina Kennedy compete in?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Amazing Feat
Carefully watch the video of Nicola beating the Australian high jump record. List the ways she manipulates and uses her body to enable her to clear two metres over the high jump bar.

For example – bounces on her toes before starting run-up

Look at the build of her body. How does this help her compete in high jumping?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: Health and Physical Education

2. Extension
How does fear get in the way of achieving good jumps according to Nicola?

Give an example in your one life of how this belief could be similar (for example, not shooting a goal in a basketball match because you thought you couldn’t do it).

Time: allow 5 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Aside from this, there is also this!
Brackets are a great literacy tool for adding aside comments, or comments that could be covered over and the sentence still makes sense. What’s inside the brackets is extra information.

They can be used for a variety of effects: to add more detail, to add humour, to connect with the reader etc.

My little brother, (the funniest kid I know) got himself into big trouble today.

Select 3 sentences from the article to add an aside comment to using brackets. Think about not only what you want to add to the sentence, but also what effect you are trying to create.

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