LEAP OF FAITH: Alana Boyd has put her faith in her support network and her ability as she readies for one last leap onto the Olympic dais.
LEAP OF FAITH: Alana Boyd has put her faith in her support network and her ability as she readies for one last leap onto the Olympic dais. DIEGO AZUBEL/AAP

RIO 2016: 'They are the best parents anyone could ask for'

POLE VAULT: Preparing and succeeding at an Olympic Games requires hard work, a steely resolve and a cracking support team.

Sunshine Coast pole vaulter and dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alana Boyd possesses all three, and will tonight attempt to score her first Olympic podium finish at her third and final attempt.

It's been a roller-coaster year for Boyd, who in July set a new Australian record of 4.81m at the University of the Sunshine Coast, before leaving for Europe and rolling her ankle in the lead-up to Rio.

Luckily for Boyd, her support crew shares seven Olympics worth of experience between them.

Her parents Ray and Denise (nee Robertson) Boyd are both Commonwealth champions in pole vault and sprinting, and dual Olympians.

They were critical to Boyd's rest, recovery and eventual return to jumping just 10 days after the injury occurred.

"My parents play a huge role in the coaching side of my career but also they are the best parents anyone could ask for," the 32-year-old told the Daily.

"They have seen me and my best and also at my worst and are there for me no matter what. I also have a number of other coaching support people involved in helping me with my strength and conditioning, sports psychology, physio, osteo and massage."

She also saved special mention for her fiancee Ryan, who she called her "rock".

"(He's) my biggest supporter and has played a big part in helping me to believe in myself and my ability," Boyd said.

Boyd's heights this year would've won her gold at London 2012, but she believes it will take a jump of about 4.90m - or a 9cm personal best - to win in Rio.

Her main rivals will include Brazil's Fabiana Murer, who is said to be the host nation's best chance of winning gold in track and field. And if 4.90m is the Olympic benchmark set by Boyd, defending Olympic champion and World Indoor Champion Jenn Suhr could sail right over the top of it.

She has jumped 5.03m earlier this year and is the hot favourite to repeat her success of four years ago.

That won't stop Alana from giving it her all when the competition gets under way and she's beaming with confidence despite the setbacks.

"No preparation is ever perfect and mine has had a few bumps but saying that I know I am in career best shape right now," she said.

Boyd will be in action at 10.45pm tonight for the heats of the women's pole vault, where she will look to fire ahead of Saturday's final.



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