Cuban pole vaulter Yarisley seeks Olympic glory

Havana, Jan 1 (IANS) Reigning world women’s pole vault champion Yarisley Silva is tuning up for 2016 and hoping to win a gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in August.

Yarisley is seeking to go one better than in London 2012, where she won a silver medal after jumping 4.75 metres. Gold medallist Jennifer Suhr jumped the same height but won the competition due to clear records of previous attempts, reports Xinhua.

The Cuban athlete, now 28, has had a highly successful 2015, winning 10 medals (7 gold, two silver and one bronze) in 12 international competitions.

In the Pan American Games in Toronto in July, Yarisley secured the title with a jump at 4.85 metres. This was the second Pan American title for Silva after she won in Guadalajara in 2011.

In a highly competitive final, Yarisley passed the 4.85 metre bar on her third attempt, seeing off Brazil’s Fabiana Murer, who stopped at 4.80 metres.

One month later, the Cuban star took Beijing by storm during the IAAF World Championships by nailing a surprising jump of 4.90 metres.

Due to these results, Yarisley was chosen as the best Cuban athlete in 2015, beating out triple jumper Pedro Pablo Pichardo.

A few days ago, she was also chosen as the athlete of the year, alongside Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, by AIPS America, the regional delegation of the International Sports Press association (AIPS).

Given these recent performances, Yarisley has already set herself up among the main candidates for pole vaulting gold at Rio 2016.

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