Every vaulter fears the no height (nh). Before last Saturday my last and only nh of my career was 1974. That said, I've always done very well at big meets, so that made me really look deep into what happened in Brazil so I can move forward. It wasn't the headwind, borrowed poles because mine didn't show up, a shallow box and deathtrap pit. I was fine with all of that as I easily cleared 4"/10cm higher than the winning jump in warm up, and I'm the furthest thing from a head case. So what was it?
I went to the bathroom at the wrong time. Four vaulters had been jumping together for 45 minutes so I asked to go to the bathroom. At big meets you have to be escorted on and off the field so I had to wait to go and wait to come back. When I returned there was only one vaulter going and he had his 1st miss with two jumps left. This means I had about five minutes to get my 60 year old body, which had been sitting for 90 minutes, warmed up enough to jump and it didn't happen. My first jump I was predictably out. Jump two I probably overran a bit and my leg kind of buckled at take off. Jump three I cleared by 2'/60cm and my pole slowly came through and knocked the bar off. DONE! Day over.
Usually I would have spent 15-20 minutes getting ready and jump #3 would have been my jump #1. Because I jump with the standards all of the way back, I cut the tops of all of my poles off so the pole falls underneath the bar and CAN'T knock it off if it comes through behind me. I didn't have my poles and I didn't warm up properly so that is that.
I WANTED a medal at this meet!! Sure I won the silver medal in Italy in August at our version of the Olympic Games where 30 sports are contested at the World Masters Games, but this was supposed to be the easier one. A 10'6"/3.20m jump would have given me a total of four world championship medals on four continents, Africa, Australia, Europe and South America. I start practice at 12'/3.66m. It didn't happen, it's done, it's over. I understand why and it won't happen again. I needed to address it here so I can move on. I was ready, healthy and jumping great. I made a mistake in not being ready to jump when they called my name. Nuff said. Thanks for being here! Bubba
Talking Heads - "Pyscho Killer" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGNOfRzDysw