In her third and last attempt, Russian athlete Anzhelika Sidorova cleared 4.95 meters in dramatic fashion to win the women’s pole vault event at the track-and-field world championships in Qatar on September 29.
It was the best leap of the year and Sidorova’s personal best by 4 centimeters, a feat that silver medalist Sandi Morris of the United States failed to match.
Both dueled and cleared the first five heights at their first attempt.
Although Morris had the psychological advantage of going first, she couldn’t clear the 4.95-meter bar, brushing it with her chin in her third attempt.
For Sidorova, 28, excitement triumphed over the fact that the Russian was competing with her compatriots as an "authorized neutral athlete." because her country's athletics federation has been suspended since 2015 over widespread doping.
The ban, by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has been extended ever since and as recently as September 23.
Instead of listening to her country’s anthem, Sidorova heard the International Association of Athletics Federations’ anthem on the podium.
"All that is not too comfortable but I was so happy," Sidorova said as quoted by Reuters. "I was just so happy that I didn't really think about it... Gold is gold."
The bronze went to Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, who reached a height of 4.85 centimeters.
Russian Athlete Sidorova Wins Pole Vault Gold At World Championships