March 3, 2018 / 10:57 PM / a year ago

Athletics: Morris finally ends Stefanidi's winning streak

Athletics - IAAF World Indoor Championships 2018 - Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, Britain - March 3, 2018 Sandi Morris of the U.S. celebrates winning the Women's Pole Vault Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - American Sandi Morris ended Katerina Stefanidi’s long winning streak in the pole vault — and stemmed her own run of silver medals — to claim a first major title at the world indoor championships on Saturday.

For the past year, the 25-year-old Morris has had to watch the Greek appear almost untouchable in winning 19 straight competitions.

Having been the last woman to beat the 28-year-old Stefanidi in February 2017, Morris at least knew victory was possible and she looked nerveless in clearing 4.95 meters to set a championship record and deny the world and Olympic champion the only major title she has not won.

With Stefanidi clearing only 4.80 for bronze, neutral athlete Anzhelika Sidorova claimed silver by vaulting 4.90.

With victory already assured, Morris, who took silver at the 2016 world indoors, 2016 Olympics and 2017 world championships, then attempted an indoor world record of 5.04 but failed three times.

Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Clare Fallon

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