Palesa Manaleng3 April 2024 | 14:25

Pole vaulter Miré Reinstorf says there's no room for doubt in her discipline

Pole Vault requires high running speed as an essential requirement for an athlete to be able to successfully jump over the bar using the pole.

Pole vaulter Miré Reinstorf says there's no room for doubt in her discipline

South Africa’s pole vaulting ace Miré Reinstorf. Picture: Bjorn Paree/ Instagram.

JOHANNESBURG – A year of the giants, when the best in the world will have an opportunity to showcase their talent.

This is what the Olympic year is for athletes across the globe - including South Africa’s pole vaulting ace Miré Reinstorf.

The athlete set a game record and won gold at the 2024 African Games in Ghana.

Reinstorf (22) dominated by winning gold at the U20 World Juniors Championships in Nairobi, Kenya in 2021.

Eyewitness News talks to the athlete about her journey and goals for the year ahead.

“I am extremely grateful and pleased with my performance at the African Games. For the last 2.5 years, I have been struggling with my jumping technique and I have had some minor injuries. During this time, I have also been struggling to improve my personal best and I jumped back in August of 2021.

“And kind of hit a plateau of 4.05 which is the highest during this time. My coach and I have been working very hard on improving my technique, and I have been doing a lot of rehabs in these past 2 years,” she said.


Pole Vault requires athletes to be nimble to successfully jump over the bar using the pole.

“I am competing at USSA’s this Friday my goal is to jump at least a 4.25m. I’m also working towards our senior national championships that are taking place from the 18th to the 22nd of April. I am aiming to break the national record and hopefully jump 4.50m.  And then I want to qualify for the African Athletics Championships that will take place in Cameroon in June.”

She tells Eyewitness News that protecting her mental health is a very important aspect for athletes, especially in pole vault.

The sport is very technical and requires faith and confidence.

“The moment I start doubting myself, even a bit, after stepping onto the runway, it is almost guaranteed that I will not have a successful jump. This is very dangerous, seen as we go up to a minimum of 4m into the air, and if you bail out or don’t finish the jump, the chances of missing the landing mats and getting hurt are very likely.”

She adds that although the prospect of injury is one of the more important reasons for protecting her mental health, it isn’t the only one.

“Being in a good mental state gives me more confidence. I feel reassured and positive that my jumps will be good and that I will be able to clear the heights. I do a lot of visualisation exercises so that I can capture my technique...This also helps me to build confidence in my jumps and to stay positive.”

The Bcom Actuarial Science student says it was challenging at first juggling her studies and sports, but she knew she wanted to be an athlete and had to make it work.

“It was challenging at first. In my first year of studies, I took all of my subjects, so my academic schedule was very busy. But I knew that I wanted to continue doing pole vault, so my coach and I worked around my academics, and we used every opportunity we could get to train.”

The Africa and SA U20 record holder extended her degree so she could pour more into her sports.

“It helps because there is time to keep my academics up to date, train and still have some time to myself. I also have a daily routine which helps me to balance everything. And I think just having the discipline to stick to the routine helps to keep everything in balance.”

Men’s pole vault has featured at every modern Olympic Games while women only made their Olympic pole vault debut in 2000.