Olympics- Morgann LeLeux of New Iberia on pole vault finals at Tokyo Olympics: 'I gave it all I had'
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, August 5, 2021
Morgann LeLeux of New Iberia vowed to return to competition after failing to clear 4.50 meters Thursday in her first three attempts of the women’s pole vault finals at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The former Catholic High and UL track and field star revealed after her preliminary competition Monday that she had been competing with a partially torn Achilles tendon.
“Heavy heavy heart tonight,” LeLeux posted on Instagram. “I think I fought so hard this year to get to this point and while my mind was ready … physically I had nothing left to give.
“I think the old me is fighting the new me in competition when it comes to technique. And while I hate sooo much how this all ended … I think much needed rest and a restart to a new year will be the recipe I need to succeed.”
LeLeux, 28, made it over the bar at 4.55 (14 feet, 11 inches) on her final prelim try to advance to the finals.
American Katie Nageotte, a native of Cleveland, won gold by clearing 4.9. Anzhelika Sidorova, from Russia, took silver after clearing 4.85 on his first attempt and Holly Bradshaw of Great Britain, who also cleared 4.85 on his first try but needed two attempts to make 4.80, took the bronze.
“I want to congratulate my teammate on a well deserved Gold Medal Finish (Nageotte),” LeLeux said in her post. You are truly an inspiration and deserve this moment 110%.
“And to everyone at home sending me love and support! I seriously can’t thank you all enough! I wish with all my heart I could have made you all so damn proud. But through it all you stood by my side and cheered me on and I cannot thank y’all enough! It truly means everything. This is not over I will be back better than before.”
LeLeux was one of two competitors unable to make it over the bar at 4.50 Thursday, leaving her tied for 15th place.
She won a Sun Belt Conference championship with UL in her final college season in 2016 after transferring from Georgia, where LeLeux won SEC indoor titles in 2012 and 2013 and an outdoor championship in 2014.
After not making the U.S. team in 2012 and being an alternate in 2016, LeLeux qualified for Tokyo in June by placing second behind Nageottewith a personal best of 4.70 at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
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“I gave it all I had with every ounce of my heart (Thursday) and while it’ll take sometime to gather myself … I am still very grateful for the opportunity to compete at the Olympics for the USA,” LeLeux said.
“I’m so sorry to all my supporters for the hard disappointment. While there may or may not be another Olympics in my future I do plan for sure to give this thing another year and represent with a more experienced way.”