Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Focus on......Tori Pena, Ireland's Pole Valulter

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Focus on......Tori Pena, Ireland's Pole Valulter

In the upcoming Olympic Games in London, the sole Irish representative in the pole vault will be Tori Pena.

Event: Pole vault
Who is she? Born in California, the 24-year-old holds the Irish pole vault record at 4.52m and will be the first ever athlete to represent Ireland in the event.

Road to London: Pena, who is eligible to represent Ireland through Derry-born maternal grandmother, acquired dual citizenship in 2010 before joining the Finn Valley Athletic Club in Donegal.

She cleared the Olympic A standard of 4.50m to win gold at the Beach Track and Field Classic at Cerritos College, California in March 2012 and become the sole representative of the country in the field events.

What she says about herself: (On qualification) “Lots of things are coming together with my vault. I’m very pleased and 60+ should be very doable this outdoor season.

(One representing Ireland) “Although my grandma was never into sports herself, she’s always been a role model for me. I think it’s pretty unbelievable for her to think that I’m representing Ireland in the pole vault of all things. I don’t think it’s anything she could have ever imagined.”

Medal chances: Pena’s record of 4.52m ranked her in tenth place going into the European Track and Field Championships in Helsinki recently. However, having cleared 4.15m, 4.25m and 4.35m, she failed at 4.40m and suffered the disappointment of missing out on a place in the final.


Anonymous said...

Best of Luck to Tori! Nice to get a profile John, cheers. Never heard of Tori until Helsinki. Its great to read that she is capable of better. She is not unlike many other Irish athletes who did not have a good run in Helsinki, so hopefully it will all come together for her and the others in London. Nice to have another name to watch out for in the Olympics - pole vault is definitely a new one for Ireland!

Anonymous said...

Always amazed me why more heritage athletes did not represent Ireland at Olympics.