Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney will return to action next week, as she looks to scale new heights following a frustrating heel injury.

The 22-year-old Auckland pole vaulter suffered the injury competing in Birmingham five months ago, ending her 2018 season there.

It was initially described as a short term problem but proved to be anything but and McCartney has admitted she is still conscious of the problem now and then.

All eyes be on McCartney with the Japan Olympics looming next year.


She has targetted next week's Potts Classic athletics meeting in Hastings for a comeback. Normally, her biggest challenge there should come from the 20-year-old Fin Wilma Murto, who set a world junior indoor record three years ago.

"I had a few weeks off anyway because of the timing, but it was something like nine weeks which was much much longer than I was expecting," she told Radio Sport.

"I had three or four weeks in training where it was a problem, where I was affected by it. It's all good now, I only feel it occasionally.

"I have been training on my full run up and hope to open in Hastings Potts Classic."

McCartney was expecting a great competition in Hastings.

"There are a few international vaulters coming along. It's usually a beautiful hot day and great tail winds when I've competed there," she said.

Key events this year will be the New Zealand athletics championships in Christchurch in March, the Australian nationals a month later and the September/October world championships in Qatar.

"I've got goals for the season but it's more about the competitions we're aiming to hit and the heights we're aiming to clear. I'm not one to say I want to win this medal or that sort of thing," she said.


"It's a really big year with the world champs right at the end of it meaning they are very close to the Olympic Games next year. So it's very important to be getting things right and staying healthy.

"It would be nice if I could do two peaks, one at the end of the domestic season and later in international season but that doesn't always happen."

Potts Classic women's pole vault, with personal bests.

1. Eliza McCartney (New Zealand) 4.94m
2. Wilma Murto (Finland) 4.71m
3. Marta Onofre (Portugal) 4,51
4. Olivia McTaggart (New Zealand) 4.45m
5. Chloe Henry (Belgium) 4,42
6. Elina Lampela (Finland) 4.25m
7. Imogen Ayris (New Zealand) 4.20m