Kiwi pole-vaulter James Steyn eyes long standing New Zealand record

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The 20-year-old came up just one centimetre short of achieving the feat. Source: 1 NEWS

Kiwi pole-vaulter James Steyn has been shaking things up in the New Zealand track and field scene, coming up just a centimetre short of breaking the long-standing national record.

It has been a long road for the 20-year-old, but he believes he won't be far from beating the national record.

"I mean I just want to jump bigger, it's cool I've got a lot of progress to still make. There's more in me definitely," said Steyn.

For years Steyn trailed behind his training partner and six time national champion Nick Southgate.

But 2019 proved to be a breakout for Steyn, claiming his first ever national title.

"James is a pretty talented kid and he's worked away for the past five or six years and this year has come on exceptionally well," said Steyn's coach Jeremy McColl.

Last weekend at the Australian Champs, Steyn jumped a personal best of 5.50m. He was just one centimetre short of breaking long standing NZ record set by Paul Gibbons in 1992.

"I didn't know I jumped 30 which was super exciting because that was a PB. Jumped 40 [and] didn't realise what had happened. Jumped fifty and just blanked - Jeremy screamed [and] I screamed, it was cool," said Steyn.