High jumper Patterson breaks 31-year-old national record
Rio 2016 high jumper Eleanor Patterson has broken a three-decade-old record over the weekend when she competed at the Capital Classic in New Zealand.
Patterson soared to clear 1.99m and set a new women's Australian and Oceania high jump record in the process.
Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988 Olympian Vanessa Ward set the previous national record of 1.98 in 1989 before it was equalled by triple Olympian Alison Inverarity in 1994.
Patterson competed in Rio 2016 where the Victorian placed 11th in the Group A qualifying rounds and after missing out on the 2018 Commonwealth Games she made the decision to quit the sport altogether.
After 12 months of not training, the 23-year-old said she felt like she had lost her identity and linked up with high jumping 'super coach' Alex Stewart and since then her performance has improved exponentially.
Her record-breaking jump is 3 cm higher than her previous PB, which earned her a Tokyo 2020 quota and is also 2cm higher than the gold medal jump set by Rio 2016 gold medallist Ruth Beitia at the Games.
It is also the highest outdoor jump by a woman so far in 2020.
Fellow Aussie Nicola McDermott finished second to Patterson with a jump of 1.96m, also a Tokyo 2020 qualifier.