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Olympics: Olympic pole vaulter Morgann LeLeux of New Iberia says she'll still compete despite injury

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, August 4, 2021

Click here for Morgann Leleux photo gallery.

Morgann LeLeux of New Iberia will  continue her quest for an Olympic medal in Tokyo despite having a partially torn Achilles tendon.

The former Catholic and UL track star  qualified for Thursday’s finals by clearing 4.55 meters (14 feet, 11 inches) on her last try Monday.

She disclosed the injury afterward.

“So I gotta be honest with everyone,” she posted on Instagram.

“I found out 3 days ago I do have a partial tear in my Achilles not bad enough to fully tear it, but not in a good spot for some type of injection to calm it down.

“I really felt fine during the beginning but the rain delay and coming back made it very painful. But no way am I letting this stop my Olympic Dream. Thursdays weather looks promising. And we have a great treatment plan in place. I feel very confident and soo dang grateful.”

Hot finish:The day New Iberia native Morgann LeLeux became an Olympian

Related:Mondo Duplantis, former LSU pole vaulter from Lafayette, wins gold in Tokyo 

Two Americans in the finals

LeLeux’s American teammate, 2016 silver medalist Sandi Morris, cleared 4.40. But Morris injured her hip when her pole broke and she fell in the box, leaving her unable to complete her next attempt and putting her out of the competition.

A third American, U.S. champion Katie Nageotte, also qualified for the finals.

LeLeux won a Sun Belt Conference championship with the Ragin’ Cajuns during her final college season in 2016. She transferred to UL from Georgia, where she won SEC indoor titles in 2012 and 2013 and an outdoor championship in 2014.

LeLeux didn’t make the U.S. team in 2012 and was an alternate in 2016, then placed second with a personal best of 4.70 at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.

More:Mayor-President Josh Guillory recognizes Acadiana Olympians with keys to city

LeLeux expresses love for family

After Monday’s prelims, LeLeux, 28, also called the start of her Olympic week “a whirlwind” and shared thoughts about family members in her Instagram post.

“I cannot thank everyone enough back at home for all the love and support!” she wrote. “My dad, I’m so dang thankful you are here with me! My mom and hubbie, y’all are so strong. I love you all soo much!”

More:Spurred by Mondo, pole vaulter Cole Courtois reps Cajuns at NCAA meet

Meet Mondo:Former LSU pole vaulter who won gold for Sweden

LeLeux didn’t formally change her name with the USA Track & Field governing body when she got married. She and husband Jacob Romero celebrate their fifth anniversary in December.

LeLeux’s father, Shane LeLeux, is her coach.

“All this love and support is so humbling,” LeLeux posted. “I feel so loved! And ready to make everyone proud come Thursday.

“Going to leave my heart on that field and just fly! Living the DREAM!”