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By James K. Attaglo Wilson

British pole vault specialist Sally Peake is hoping to make a mark in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15, 2018.

Peake, who will be making her third Commonwealth Games appearance in Australia cleared a magnificent 4.25m [the highest vault of her life] during the 2014 games at the Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland where she won a silver medal.

The Chester born [Sally Peake] reflects on his last experience in Scotland and her expectations in the upcoming Games in Queensland, Australia.

“Even when we were in the stadium warming-up, we went out, we warmed-up and then the rain was torrential so we went back in again. So we were back to ‘is it going to be on; are we going back out?’ That uncertainty made it so difficult.”

“I came in lower and was using a much softer pole than usual. I was on the same length I had been on all year but it was the softest one and the smallest one I had – so there was a big adjustment there.”

“I’m a pole-vaulter who can go every time,” the Welsh athlete explains. “I have never had a mental block. I have never been scared of it but I know some other vaulters are.

“I knew that despite the rain, I would still be able to vault. I know that for a lot of people, doing it in the rain is just a no-no as it would throw them off mentally and technically. I just had to keep my head and do my normal thing despite the rain. And just keeping my head in those conditions ended up winning me a medal.”

Sally Peake
Sally Peake
“The rain makes an already dangerous event more dangerous”.

“Even when it is wet, I knew that my grip was going to be OK. With chalk, when it is wet, your grip can slip. I think using sticky spray saved me.”

“I am very much looking forward to competing at what will be my third Commonwealth Games,” she says.

“Australia will be a great place to compete and I am sure they will host the Games well.

“People ask me, having won silver last time, am I hoping for gold? I think that would be a big ask with people like Holly Bradshaw and Eliza McCartney (New Zealand), who got a medal in Rio, competing.
“I am just focusing on myself and on jumping as high as I can.”

“I am a proud Welsh girl and am delighted with the rare opportunity to compete as Wales rather than GB.”
Peake plans a full indoor season including the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow before she heads for Australia.

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