Alana Boyd jump close to pole best
SUNSHINE Coast pole vault star Alana Boyd moved a step closer to back-to-back Commonwealth Games golds after producing her highest jump of the season in Germany.
Boyd overcame treacherous conditions at the Bauhaus Gala in Mannheim on the weekend to jump 4.65m and continue her perfect preparation for Glasgow.
The win was Boyd second in as many appearances since arriving in Europe and a strong sign she is hitting her peak only weeks away from the opening ceremony.
"Pretty happy with 4.65(m) and a win in Mannheim in tough conditions," the 30-year-old tweeted.
"Rain in warm-up and big cross winds in comp. Looking forward to Glasgow."
The Sunshine Coast-based star began her European season earlier this month with a win the Prague Street Vault after clearing 4.52m.
The most recent result was the strongest indication yet that Boyd is nearing the form she showed when she jumped an Australian record 4.75m jump in Perth in 2012.
Athletics Australia's Mark Stewart said momentum was important and the recent results would buoy the champion's confidence.
"She's jumping well and she's won a couple of events. If she keeps jumping well she's got a good chance of getting into some other major European events ahead of the Games," he said.
Stewart, who coaches another Australian pole vault hopeful Joel Pocklington in Melbourne, said Boyd was jumping higher than any of the other Commonwealth athletes.
Her gold medal chances were already high after British pole vault record-holder and European champion Holly Bleasdale was ruled out with a back injury.
Boyd's main challenges are likely to come from Northern Ireland's Zoe Brown and Canada's Alicia Newman but neither of them has come close to her 4.65m mark.
Alana will be joined in Europe by her younger brother Matt, who is scheduled to make his Commonwealth Games debut in the men's pole vault draw.
He will become the fourth member of his family to feature at the event, following Alana, father and fellow pole vaulter Ray and mother Denise, a sprinter.