Eliza McCartney vaulted to a new senior national record of 4.45m taking the bronze medal at the World Junior Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon this afternoon.
The 17-year-old from Takapuna was in a titanic battle with American, Desiree Freier, Russian, Alena Lutkovskaya and Australian Nina Kennedy which saw the lead seesaw throughout the competition as first one, then the other took the lead.
In the end it needed a championship record of 4.50 for Lutkovskaya to secure the victory. Freier cleared 4.45, the same as the New Zealander but claimed the silver medal on a countback as she had cleared 4.40 on her first attempt while McCartney took two attempts.
McCartney's third place leap added five centimetres to the existing New Zealand record she shared with Melina Hamilton.
McCartney, who finished fourth at last year's World Youth (Under 18) Championship, joins a select group of New Zealand athletes to medal at a world championship event.
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In contrast, McCartney's North Harbour Bays clubmate Pascal Kethers missed out on making the final in the men's Pole Vault, clearing 4.85 after landing heavily on his back outside the pit in the warm-up. The shaken Kethers valiantly cleared 4.70 and 4.85 but could not clear the third height of 5.00. He finished with an overall placing of 26th.
Rosa Flanagan had a comfortable fourth placing in her 3000 steeplechase heat in 10:09.43 to progress to Sunday's final.