Boyd's going for glory in London

2010 Commonwealth Games pole vault gold medallist Alana Boyd training at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
2010 Commonwealth Games pole vault gold medallist Alana Boyd training at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Warren Lynam

ALANA Boyd has cleared many hurdles on the path to her second Olympic Games.

The 28-year-old pole vaulter, who went to school on the Sunshine Coast, is the daughter of former Olympians Ray and Denise Boyd.

Both of her siblings have also represented Australia in athletics at an international level.

With such a successful family name, athletics has always been in her blood and the current Australian women's record-holder is determined to achieve Olympic glory.

The Melbourne-born athlete has been reaching new heights since leaving her family and friends behind at the end of 2009 and moving to Perth to train under coach Alex Parnov.

Boyd has the third-highest jump in the world this year after clearing a height of 4.76m to claim the Australian women's record in February and she is starting to find form as the Games approach.

Boyd secured second place in Lucerne, Switzerland, last week with a height of 4.51m and she said she felt her best was yet to come at London.

"After my 4.51m in Lucerne, I feel I've found my rhythm and things are falling into place," she said.

When asked whether she felt pressure to continue the Olympic success of her parents, sister Jacinta said Boyd competed purely for herself.

"She just enjoys pole vaulting," Jacinta said.

"Alana moved to Perth to better her vaulting and the results she achieves are for her."

Jacinta believes Boyd can be in the mix for a medal in London if she can jump close to her personal best of 4.76m.

Boyd isn't just an elite athlete - she juggles her athletic career with her role in HR for contracting and services company John Holland in Perth.

Boyd's mother says the family will be proud of her no matter what happens in London, after seeing the efforts made to achieve her dream of representing Australia.

"It was a huge sacrifice to relocate to Perth but she didn't want her talent to pass her by," Denise said.

"Alana has a passion for the sport and a huge desire to succeed."

Boyd, the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, believes if she can reach the final in London, she might bring home a medal.

"Getting into the final is the first step, then anything can happen," she said.

"If you're in that final, then you're a chance of a medal."

After undergoing knee surgery a little over a year ago, Boyd said she was in good condition and ready to go all-out in just over a fortnight in her bid to finish on the podium at the Games.

"I'm fighting fit and ready to go," she said.



Age: 28

Lives: LiPerth, WA

Born: Melbourne, VIC

Event: Pole vault

Achievements: Australian women's record-holder at 4.76m, 3rd-highest jump in the world this year; gold medallist Commonwealth Games, Delhi, 2010; Australian champion; 11th-highest women's pole vault ever; 2008 Beijing Olympian

TV Schedule: Qualifying: from 7pm August 4. Finals: from 4am August 6.

Topics:  london olympics

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