American Morris soars to year's top outdoor pole vault
REUTERS - Rio-bound U.S. Olympian Sandi Morris soared to the highest outdoor pole vault in the world this year when she cleared 4.93 metres at Houston on Saturday.
The mark, during an American Track League meeting, superseded Russian Yelena Isinbayeva's clearance of 4.90 metres as the best outdoor mark for 2016.
Only world outdoor record holder Isinbayeva and American Olympic champion Jenn Suhr have ever jumped higher, giving the U.S. a strong 1-2 punch for next month's Olympics.
Isinbayeva will miss the Games because of the Russian ban.
"I'm crying you guys!! I just broke the American Record!" the 24-year-old Morris said on Twitter.
USA Track & Field officials, however, said Morris, the world indoor silver medallist, would receive credit only for the best outdoor pole vault ever by an American since records in the event can be established both indoors or out.
Suhr holds the American record of 5.02 metres set indoors in 2013 with a pending record of 5.03 metres from earlier this year indoors, the officials said.
Morris's indoor best is 4.95 metres, a mark she set in defeating Suhr for the 2016 U.S. indoor title.
The previous outdoor best by an American was Suhr's 4.92 metres from 2008.
Isinbayeva's world record, set in 2009, is 5.06 metres.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)