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article imageChatting with Harry Coppell: British record holder pole vaulter Special

By Markos Papadatos     Sep 12, 2020 in Sports
Acclaimed British pole vaulter Harry Coppell chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about setting a new British record and the camaraderie that exists in the sport.
Most recently, at the Müller British Athletics Champshiops, Coppell was able to clear 5.85 meters. In doing so, he set a new British record, as well as a Championship record; moreover, he ranks third in Europe and sixth in the world in 2020. "I don't think many people expected it coming out of Manchester but it was really nice," he said.
"I was quite surprised. I didn't realize what ranking that would put me. The day was going well so I decided to go for the British record. In Europe, I am right behind Mondo Duplantis and Piotr Lisek so that's really special," he said.
Coppell acknowledged that coming out of lockdown and back on the track was quite hard. "It was a bit of a shock to the system, but we came out of it well so I can't complain," he said.
He is drawn to the sport of pole vault for a variety of reasons. "It's one of those things that when you try it and start doing it, you instantly love it. You just want to do it all the time. After 12 years of doing it (half my age), I still have the same love for it, and I enjoy vaulting. It's definitely the closest thing to flying. The feeling of coming off the pole is pretty special," he said.
Coppell also loves the camaraderie that he has with other pole vaulters. "The guys are all great and we are all excited to compete. We are all good friends and we get along pretty well," he said. "It is like a family of us, pole vaulters."
The British pole vaulter is really looking forward to the remaining pole vault competitions for the rest of this season.
For young and aspiring pole vaulters, he encouraged them to "keep their love for the sport as the most important thing." "If you don't love doing it, then there's no point," he said. "Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons."
On being a track and field athlete in the digital age, he said, "It is obviously very good in terms of what we can use for training and biomechanical analysis. Also, in terms of social media, I would describe myself as average."
He recalled meeting Kate Middleton a while back (who is known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge). "That was a long time ago now. She was the face of SportsAid at the time. When I won the World Youth Championships in 2013, I was nominated for the SportsAid 'Young Athlete of the Year' Award and I met her at the award dinner. She told me that she used to be a high jumper, so we had a big chat about that since I used to do high jump before I became a pole vaulter," she said.
Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, he responded, "Showing Potential." "There is still a lot of work to be done behind the scenes. The perfect vault is something everybody searches for but never really finds."
Coppell defined the word success as "knowing that he will leave the sport doing everything that he could have done." "If I left the sport with a personal best of 5.85 meters, when I think I could have jumped six meters, I wouldn't be happy. My goal is to jump six meters plus. If I feel like I've done my absolute best, then I would be happy," he explained.
To learn more about British pole vaulter Harry Coppell, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter.
Screenshot of Harry Coppell competing (and winning) at the 2020 Muller British Athletics Championshi...
Screenshot of Harry Coppell competing (and winning) at the 2020 Muller British Athletics Championships
British Athletics
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