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'Being here is just amazing' - Commonwealth Games a childhood dream come true for Eliza McCartney

Kiwi pole-vaulting star Eliza McCartney is heading into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as a medal favorite - fufilling a childhood dream.

McCartney pulled off what would have been recorded as a personal best jump if it had been in competition. Source: 1 NEWS

The 21-year-old enters next week's competition as a medal favourite, and coach Jeremy McColl is looking forward to seeing how high she'll jump after clearing an unofficial 4.9m at Auckland's Vertical Leap exhibition last month.

"She's in incredible shape at the moment, and really looking forward to seeing what she'll jump in the Gold Coast here." 

Gold Coast 2018 will be the Rio bronze medallist's first Commonwealth Games having missed out on qualification for Glasgow due to illness and injury four years ago.

She said that goal was "hard to let go" but as an athlete's she's learned that "you've just got to take your losses, take your wins".

"To be here now is something really special. I've been to an Olympic Games, but not a commonwealth games.

"Growing up in New Zealand... where people put [Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games] on pretty much the same standard, I certainly did when I was a kid."

"Being here is just amazing."

Getting to Gold Coast 2018 hasn't been smooth sailing since her shining performance at Rio, because she "didn't have the luxury of time'.

"Having to compact my build-up has been pretty tricky, I've had a recurring Achilles injury that I've only just managed to chuck in the bag a few months ago."