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Athletics: Suhr withdraws from U.S. champs, upset at how meets run

Reuters

(Reuters) - World indoor pole vault record holder Jenn Suhr withdrew from the U.S. championships on Saturday, saying she was frustrated with how American title meets are conducted.

"Sadly, I have chosen to stay home and not deal with the frustrations that are getting increasingly worse at U.S. Nationals," the 2012 London Olympic champion said on her Facebook account.

"Championship meets need to be administered in a way that gives the spectators the best competition while providing all competitors a fair and equal playing field producing the best results," added the 17-time U.S. champion.

Suhr had been scheduled to meet Rio Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris in a highlight of Sunday's final day of the championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"I have voiced my concern to no avail so instead of being frustrated and discouraged, I have chosen not to fight for another title," she added.

Suhr was not immediately available for additional comment.

She has been unhappy for some time at the size of fields for U.S. championships and the progressions for vaulting, a person close to the world indoor champion told Reuters.

Large fields and low starting heights lead to long waits for elite vaulters before they start competitions and between jumps.

USA Track and Field (USATF) spokeswoman Jill Geer said qualifying standards and progressions for U.S. Championships are set by USATF sport committees.

"Standards are set the previous year, and progressions are determined after the declaration process to ensure that the event progresses in a way that is as timely and fair as possible," Geer said in an email to Reuters, noting that events are conducted in accordance with official competition rules.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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