The two women completely dominated the evening at the Budapest Athletics Stadium. They engaged in a nerve-wracking fight of the first class. It already looked like the favorite American had the Aussie on her back. But the 26-year-old from Western Australia miraculously recovered several times and broke the Australian record twice.
The two rivals therefore found themselves at the same height of 490cm with the same number of attempts. They could continue to fight for the top spot at reduced heights. But Moon came to Kennedy and, after a short debate, offered him a split gold medal. Kennedy accepted and the two women thus shared the biggest trophy of the World Cup.
The two are normally several thousand miles apart. They live in other parts of the planet, Nina is six years younger and has less experience in athletics, and they haven’t met so many times on the sports grounds of the world.
Kennedy, 26, has twice broken the Australian national record. Until yesterday, she wasn’t a “wonder,” but she wasn’t a sports superstar either. She competed at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
She started athletics at the age of 11. A year later, she tried her hand at pole vault. In 2012, at the age of 14, Kennedy finished second at the Australian Senior Pole Vault Championships with a personal best of 4.10 metres. A year later, she cleared 4.31 meters and placed fifth at the U18 Junior World Championships. At the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, she achieved a personal best of 4.40 meters and finished fourth.
Within four years, Kennedy increased her personal best to 4.60 meters and a week later it rose to 4.71 meters. At the 2022 World Championships in Athletics, Kennedy won bronze with a 4.80m performance and is now in contention for gold after a huge battle.
Moon, 32, already has other big trophies. She won a gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 World Championships in Athletics and also a silver medal at the 2022 World Indoor Championships.
Katie first enjoyed jumping in the water, and by the age of nine she was already doing gymnastics at the famous sports high school in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. This laid the perfect foundation for batting.
She graduated with the Ohio record in her class – 3.97m – and continued to improve thereafter. But his career does not look like a comet. She was climbing step by step. She only broke through at the international level at the age of 27. And she really took off just two years ago at the Tokyo Olympics. Unusual in today’s hectic times. And Nina Kennedy seems to be following in her footsteps.
Yesterday’s moment in Budapest saw Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi share high jump gold at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
“When the finals started, I didn’t think sharing the gold medal would benefit me, but now I’m completely satisfied,” Moon said. “What a battle it was. What an amazing night. Hope everyone enjoyed it. We do.”
Kennedy seemed even more thrilled, describing the gold medal as a dream come true. “I literally jumped out of my skin tonight. It was absolutely crazy. I felt like the whole stadium was watching our every jump, it was really amazing.”
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