Olivia McTaggart is one to watch for the future. The New Zealand pole vaulter has just turned 20 but is already national champion and has a personal best – at 4.46 m – just 9 cm short of the Olympic qualifying standard.
Born in Australia before moving to Auckland aged five, McTaggart started out as a gymnast before switching to pole vaulting after suffering injuries that ended her gymnastics dream. Within six months of starting in athletics, she had won bronze in Australia's national junior championships. "Pole vaulting is just such a technical sport that every day I'm learning something new," she said.
Thanks to advice and support from teammate Eliza McCartney, McTaggart finally made the senior team. The 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, where she finished ninth, was McTaggart's first major international meet at senior level. "I had never competed at such a big event and in such a big stadium but both of us going together meant it wasn't quite as overwhelming," she said of McCartney's help.
“I am a big goal-setter, whether in the next week or the next 10 years."”
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