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Australian pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall talks athletic career (Includes interview)

“The thing I love about pole vault the most is the unique sense of success that no other sport can really offer,” Marschall said. “The only way you can experience success in this sport is if you manage to perfect the technicalities of it. If you get all of the small things right, they all end up adding together enabling you to clear the bar.”

Marschall continued, “The feeling once you cleared a personal best (PB) height is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced and is probably the thing I love most about the event. That split second after you know you’ve cleared the bard and your falling to the ground is something not many people can say they have experienced, which is why it makes it so special.”

On his proudest moments in the sports, Marschall said, “One of the proudest moments in my pole vault career was learning a lifetime best, a national junior record and the Rio Olympic Games qualifier of 5.70 on the third attempt in Mannheim Germany back in 2016. It doesn’t get much better than all of those things at once. It really was one of those landmark moments that made me realize that I actually could take this sport somewhere.”

Regarding his plans for the new year, Marschall said, “2019 is World Championships year, so that is obviously the main focus for the season. Being an Australian means I have the Australian outdoor season to complete in our summer from January to April. I will be competing around Australia and will also be heading over to Europe in February to compete in Claremont-Ferrand for Renaud Lavilleine’s All-Star Perche. Then, we will get back into prep for the European outdoor season.”

When asked what motivates the Aussie pole vaulter each day, he responded, “The idea of always having something to improve and never having that perfect jump is the one thing that keeps me hungry each day to see just how close I can get to that perfect jump one day. The pursuit of perfection is what motivates me. To see just how good I can actually be.”

Digital transformation of pole vault

On the impact of technology on pole vault, Marschall said, “Technology has only improved the sport. The introduction of flexible poles was one of the best innovations for it has made the event that much more spectacular. It enables vaulters to grip much higher and in turn, jump much higher bars which are all the more impressive for the spectators and creates a larger interest for young aspiring athletes who want to take up the event.”

Regarding his use of technology as a pole vaulter, Marschall said, “We use iPads mainly to analyze footage of each jump session. It gives us much greater feedback and understanding of the technical elements of the jump so that each jump can be improved and in turn makes for every session to be of much higher quality. Video analysis isn’t limited to vaulting sessions either. We use it to analyze running sessions and lifting sessions to optimize technique in all areas of training.”

For young and aspiring athletes that wish to pursue pole vault, he encouraged them to “come and give it a go.” “Trust me, it looks way scarier than it is and you don’t start off jumping five-meter bars in your first session,” he said. “You start slow and have to stick at the technique. If you can find the right balance in your jump with the best technical model and the right dynamics, then anyone can become a successful pole vaulter.”

Marschall defined the word success as follows: “Success for me is something that is internal.” “It is not necessarily being the best out of everyone, but it is being the best that I can be.To experience success for me is when I achieve the goals that I set out to achieve intrinsically,” he said.

The 21-year-old athlete continued, “Success is about achieving things that are important to you, no matter how hard the work and no matter how out of reach it may be, if you can set little goals along the way and keep achieving little bits of success along the way. The end result will be all the more fulfilling. Success for me is the one percenters.”

To learn more about Kurtis Marschall, check out his official Facebook page.

Read More: This past August, as Digital Journal reported, Kurtis Marschall set two personal bests in Zurich.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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