Tina Šutej wins Diamond League pole vault in Lausanne

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Following a bronze medal performance in the pole vault at the European Championships last week, Arkansas alum Tina Šutej won a Diamond League title Friday.

Šutej cleared 15-5 (4.70) on a second attempt to defeat Australian Nina Kennedy, who needed three attempts at the same height. Both vaulters missed 15-8.25 (4.78).

“This has been a season of ups and downs, but the good thing is that I have always managed to bounce back,” noted Šutej, who cut her right hand with a spike during warm-up for the European Championships final and required stitches to mend the situation. “Tonight, it was another good night despite the regular Achilles problem that I suffer from.

“I’m going to keep pushing myself and keep performing at my best. That’s how I want to finish what has been a truly great season for me.”

During the indoor season Šutej earned a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships after improving the Slovenia national record twice up to an overall career best of 15-9 (4.80).

This summer Šutej placed fourth in the World Championships held in Eugene and earned a bronze medal in the European Championships as she cleared 15-5 (4.70) and 15-7 (4.75), respectively.

A bronze medalist at the World Championships, Kennedy won the Commonwealth Games as well as the previous Diamond League title in Monaco.

Earlier this week, competing in a pole vault event held in Jockgrim, Germany, Šutej cleared 15-5.5 (4.71) to defeat European champion Wilma Murto of Finland, who finished second at 15-1.5 (4.61). Murto placed third in Lausanne with a 15-1 (4.60) clearance.

In the men’s shot put, Arkansas volunteer assistant Ryan Crouser finished second with a toss of 72-4.25 (22.05) behind the winning mark of 74-3.75 (22.65) by Joe Kovacs, who surpassed 72 feet (22m) on four of five attempts.

It was the first time since the 2019 World Championships for Kovacs to defeat Crouser. This was the 15th competition between the pair over that span.

Overall, Crouser holds a 34-7 edge against Kovacs since they first competed against one another at the 2012 Penn Relays. Kovacs claimed the first four decisions against Crouser.

“I have just recovered from a long Covid and have not had any training in the last three weeks,” stated Crouser, who last competed on July 17 when he claimed World Championships gold. “Considering that tonight was not at all bad, Joe had a great series and I felt I was in the mix with the other guys.

“There are a few more meets left this season I would like to get close to my best shape and finish the season strong.”

Crouser’s mark is the 186th time for him to surpass 72 feet (22m) in his career and 23rd time this season.

Photo credit: Diamond League AG