London bound Boyd gets go-ahead

Alana Boyd will go to her second Olympics.
Alana Boyd will go to her second Olympics. Getty

NEW national pole vault record holder Alana Boyd will join her parents as a dual Olympian after being welcomed into the Australian squad for London yesterday.

The 27-year-old from Alexandra Headland was surprisingly beaten into second place by training partner Liz Parnov at last weekend's Olympic trials in Melbourne, but the selectors took into account her recent run of stellar form and the wet conditions in naming her with Parnov in the national team.

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Boyd will contest her second Olympics, having finished 16th at Beijing in 2008, and is considered a realistic medal chance after her superb domestic campaign.

"It's all kind of come together for me this season," she said yesterday.

"I've worked pretty hard and the motivation of the Olympics is like no other.

"Everything's been going really well for me. I'm jumping better than I ever have before."

Boyd joined her parents, Denise and Ray, as Commonwealth Games gold medallists when she won at Delhi in 2010.

When she competes in London, she will join them as two-time Olympians - Denise having gone to the Games for the 100m, 200m and relay (1976 and '80) and Ray for the pole vault ('72 and '76)

"I think it is a bit unique," Ray said.

"To get to one Olympics is everybody's dream, but to get to two .... and now we've got a daughter that's done the same thing, it's amazing.

"She's had a great domestic season and has gone up and up and up.

"It's good to see some results after a lot of grief over the years with injuries."

Boyd has indeed been plagued by injury, mainly knee problems.

"Being relatively injury-free makes a big difference," she said.

"I jumped 4.56m four years ago and I'd been around that mark for a while, so it was about time (to improve). I'm tougher mentally and I know my body better and I'm getting to know the event better as well.

"I've come out and jumped three personal bests and an Australian record (4.76m). That puts me up against the best girls in the world, which is exciting, but I'm not getting ahead of myself.

"I'm just taking every competition as it comes."

Boyd will get a strong indication of her form on Sunday when she confronts the globe's best at the world indoor championships in Turkey.

"Yelena Isinbeyeva recently cleared 5.01, which is a world record indoors," Boyd said.

"She's back in the shape she was in a few years ago, which is exciting for the event.

"All the other girls are jumping indoors over there (Europe) in the winter and there have been a few jumps in the 4.80s and three or four jumps in the 4.70s, so I think 4.76 ranks me fifth with girls there.

"That puts me up there among those girls and I think going to the world indoors this weekend will give me a gauge of where I'm at."

Boyd was quick to put last weekend's national titles behind her.

"It was disappointing. I guess I had the expectation of going into the trials and coming away with a win and automatic selection in the team," she said.

"But unfortunately I think I was on a comedown after jumping 4.76m the week before and maybe I was just a bit flat. I'm not going to dwell on it."

Topics:  athletics london olympics olympics pole vault

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