ELITE athletes are the harshest critics of their own success.
Leongatha’s Eleanor Patterson can rightly put herself in the elite athlete category.
However, her self-assessment of her world championship debut is too harsh.
The 19 year-old, who works at the local sushi joint on the days she’s not training, said she was “disappointed” with her results.
She cut a dejected figure after the high jump final, collapsed on the mat after failing to clear 1.95 – one centimetre shy of her competition personal best.
She qualified for the finals after jumping 1.92m.
Patterson started nervously, failing to clear 1.88m.
She went on to clear that on her second attempt, then easily clearing 1.92m.
At this point, five other athletes in the final bowed out, giving Patterson a guaranteed top eight finish.
On her third jump at 1.95m she would have to jump higher than she did in Glasgow, which netted her the Commonwealth gold medal, but she just scraped the bar – it rocked gently before falling each attempt.
Patterson admitted it was a good result, but said she was still disappointed.
“I am pretty disappointed in myself, I expect a lot of myself. David [Green, coach] has worked really, really, really hard and it just didn’t come together on the day,” she said in the post jump interview.
“It just didn’t feel like I wanted it to in a lot of ways, I know I can jump so much higher and feel better.
“It is just disappointing; I am disappointed in myself.
“I am just going to work my butt off and go back to the drawing board with David [Green] and we are going to work twice as hard and we already work very hard no doubt about that…
“It is hurtful (right now) that is for sure but it is making me determined.”
Patterson has been much too harsh on herself.
Her results, in a World Championship debut, are an amazing achievement: she is the youngest ever Australian to make the finals in the Athletics World Championships.
Here eighth place is the highest finish by an Australian woman in the high jump.
And she’s the first woman finalist in the high jump world championships in 20 years.
There’s still much ahead of Patterson, as high jumpers typically mature much later.
The eventual winner, on a countback, Maria Kuchina (2.01m) is 22 years-old, and Blanka Vlasic (silver) is 32 years-old, Anna Chicherova (bronze) is 33.

Our Eleanor much loved

South Gippsland was right behind Patterson and Green.
On the Sentinel-Times’ Facebook page, support for Patterson reached 68,449 people – on the same day there were over one billion posts to Facebook for the first time.
Jess Johnston wrote: Doing your country and hometown proud. A lovely role model, congratulations Eleanor on your massive accomplishments (and to your mum and dad on raising a great young woman).
Eleonor Biro: Soar high Eleanor! South Gippsland is all jumping with you.
Iznaya Kennedy: Such a cool cucumber, just in time to motivate the kids going into a new season of Leongatha Little Athletics.
Paddy Spike Monaghan: Gosh ‘Gatha produces some superstars. Well done Eleanor