Luke Cutts’s Olympic debut ended before it ever really started on Saturday night but the Barnsley pole vaulter vowed to return stronger from his experiences in Rio.
The 28-year-old failed to qualify for the final after three failures at 5.45m in the Olympic Stadium in qualifying in Brazil.
That height was 16cm down on his season’s best of 5.61m which he achieved in Austria at the end of June.
A repeat of that performance would have earned him a spot in the final but instead he had to settle for 22nd place and exiting at the qualification stage in Brazil.
But the Commonwealth silver medallist was not too downhearted at the result – and vowed to use it as a springboard towards next year’s World Championships in London.
“The conditions were good and my warm-up was good but then we had a bit of an issue with the uprights that wouldn’t move and that gave us a 40-minute break after the warm-ups,” he said.
“We were literally sat there for 40 minutes doing nothing, we couldn’t vault.
“I cleared my first and my second height at the second attempt, but 5.60m just was not to be. I felt good and went with the longer pole – it was a great experience and I came off the track having given everything.
“I take it as a learning moment – that was good enough for me. I didn’t leave anything out there – I had nothing more to give.”
But while Cutts was not too disconsolate following the result – there were some key lessons he insisted he will take into future meets.
“I could have maybe come in at 5.45 but I played it safe to get warmed up and get into it,” he added. “I will move onto the next championships which is the worlds.
“If we had started on time, I reckon I could have done 5.60m. There are probably 15-16 guys that have already cleared 5.60m so it was going to take 70 to get to the final. But if I had cleared 60, it was always going to be hard but who knows what would have happened.”
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