TRAINING: Sunshine Coast pole vaulter Lisa Campbell practices at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
TRAINING: Sunshine Coast pole vaulter Lisa Campbell practices at the University of the Sunshine Coast. John McCutcheon

Campbell wants to avoid being consumed by PB mark

TRACK & FIELD: Pole vaulter Lisa Campbell is cautious of getting too caught up in the pursuit of a personal best, as she makes her Commonwealth Games debut on Friday.

The 25-year-old will hit the runway at Gold Coast 2018 after rapidly rising through the ranks of the sport in Australia.

The surprise selection has cleared 4.40m in training sessions, with Ray Boyd at the University of the Sunshine Coast, but her top mark in competition remains at 4.25m.

However, she said she can ill-afford to be pre-occupied with bettering that mark at Gold Coast 2018.

"A PB would be great but ... it's just about going out and focusing on those technical queues that get you over the bar," she said.

"If you get a bit caught up in the 'oh my god I want to jump a PB' then you find you end up not jumping very well at all.

"So it's about really focusing on those things you need to do to get over the bar.

"My expectations are to try to replicate what we've been doing in training and just jumping to what I've been selected for."

A former triple jumper, Campbell only switched to pole vault a few years ago but has improved at a dramatic rate during the past 18 months.

"I've got to credit my coach for that. Ray has been amazing," she said of the father and coach of Sunshine Coast's Alana Boyd, who won the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal before retiring post-Olympics in 2016.

Campbell's had limited competition against other elite athletes, so a Commonwealth Games campaign will be something special indeed.

"It's really only the beginning ... I'm just going to enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the experience more than anything," she said.

With her rapid improvement, she's got one eye on future events, including next year's world championships and the 2020 Olympics.

"Those are the big goals and you have to set big goals otherwise what are you doing?

"It's about taking experience from the Commonwealth Games and lapping it all up and then moving forward to the next big goal and really trying to nail those technical things that I need to do to jump big heights."

She took part in an international event on the Sunshine Coast recently, clearing 4.20m.



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