The Australian pole vault record holder, Alana Boyd, has today formally announced her retirement from athletics.
Closing out her career with a stunning 4.80m leap to place 4th at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Boyd followed the lead of her parents, sprinter Denise and pole vaulter Ray, into athletics before making her debut for Australia at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka (JPN).
Boyd won her maiden national pole vault crown in 2008, before a 4.30m clearance on Olympic debut at Beijing 2008. She has since won the Australian Athletics Championships gold medal on three occasions (2009, 2013, 2015).
A gold medal at the Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games followed, before a bronze medal at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech (MAR) and a new personal best of 4.81m earlier this year to become the best ever Australian female pole vaulter. The mark bettered her own previous Australian record of 4.76m.
“Like every athlete, I have had ups and downs over the last ten years. I have had a successful international career. I have had an amazing 2016, pushing my Australian record that little bit higher, with two personal bests and a fourth place finish at the Olympics,” Boyd said.
“I was the athlete I always hoped I could be in Rio and given a less than ideal preparation, I cleared a height only one centimetre below my lifetime best. I am so proud of that and couldn’t ask for much more.”
“I absolutely love the sport and everything it’s given me. I know at times I will miss it but I also really look forward to the next stage of my life away from the track.”
Athletics Australia Head Coach, Craig Hilliard, has commended Boyd on her career in athletics, citing her clutch performance to deliver back-to-back Commonwealth Games gold medals in Glasgow as a personal highlight.
“Alana has enjoyed a remarkable career in athletics, her list of achievements is outstanding,” Hilliard said.
“This year alone she has improved the national record and narrowly missed a medal at the Olympic Games. To do that after two injury setbacks, including a significant fall in the warm-up at the World Indoor Championships, is remarkable. It’s a testament to her composure, mental toughness and ability.
“The decision to retire is always a difficult one, particularly when you’re at the top of your game. Her inclusion on the AOC Athletes’ Commission will continue her involvement in a leadership capacity and that’s good for sport. Alana and her family have contributed significantly to Australian athletics over the years and I certainly recognise the commitment they have made to track and field.
“For now though, I hope she is enjoying a well-earned break with her husband Ryan, reflecting on a career that she and her family should be very proud of.”
Athletics Australia congratulate Boyd on her outstanding career, with a complete list of accolades available by clicking here.