LONDON – Three-time Olympian and South Dakota assistant coach Derek Miles concluded pole vault competition at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London on Wednesday. Miles, who has been slowed in recent months by a painful Achilles injury, did not qualify for the finals during Wednesday's pole vault preliminaries.
The injury has affected Miles' training leading up to the Olympics. During Wednesday's competition he was unable to clear the opening height.
"It was a tough day," said Lucky Huber, the USD women's track coach who has also coached Miles for several years. "The sore Achilles just never allowed Derek to get comfortable. It was obvious that he couldn't train for the past month."
Despite the tough day on Wednesday, Miles , a 1996 USD graduate, has been one of the most successful pole vaulters in the United States – and the world -- over the past decade. He qualified for the Olympics three times, placing a career-best fourth in Beijing in 2008. He has been ranked No. 1 in the United States in the pole vault four times and is a three-time U.S. National Champion. Prior to Wednesday's competition, he had made the final in every World Championships and Olympics that he had competed in.