Maties Athletics’ Mire Reinstorf made history when she recently won South Africa’s first ever women pole-vault title at the World Athletics u20 Championships.
It was also Reinstorf’s first every international competition as well. Winning a gold medal never crossed her mind. She had a personal best height in mind when she travelled to Nairobi in August.
“I wanted to improve my personal best of 4.12m. My goal was to jump a 4.20 or maybe even 4.30m which was possible looking back now. Because I was very high over 4.15m,” said Reinstorf, who won with a height of 4.15m, an area record.
“I did not expect to get a medal. My coach thought maybe bronze, but definitely not gold. In the end I got my personal best and gold!”
The Matie still gets goosebumps when she thinks of the moment, she won the event. “At first it didn’t really sink in. I just thought: ‘Ok I’m first.’ But when I took our national flag and wrapped it around me, I was filled with joy and gratefulness. It felt so good, not only winning, but winning for South Africa. It was such an honour representing our country.”
Winning the title inspired Reinstorf to work even harder to make sure she achieves as much as possible. “I never seriously considered the Olympics, but it is definitely one of my goals now!”
Reinstorf started her career in high school. “To be honest, at first I didn’t want to do it because it’s a whole new sport and not something I was used to. I didn’t even know how to do it! But my mother encouraged me to go try it out and after the first training session I couldn’t stop. I also did some hurdles and gymnastics which both helped with the pole-vault seeing as you need speed and that gymnastics aspect to clear the bar.”
She is a proud Matie. “Being a Matie means a lot to me. When I think Maties I just see maroon and gold! I will never forget how happy my dad, Peter, was when he heard I will be coming to Maties and not go to America.”
Reinstorf thanks the Maties for helping her following her dreams. “I get opportunities and valuable financial assistance from the HP programme.”