Jennifer Suhr of the United States celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Women's Pole Vault final on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 6, 2012, in London, England. / Getty Images
(CBS/AP) Jenn Suhr, America's best female pole vaulter for the better part of a half-dozen years, got the Olympic gold she needed to round out her resume.
She vaulted 15 feet, 7 inches (4.75 meters) to defeat Cuba's Yarisley Silva, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss in the competition.
"It's very emotional. It's something that you work so hard for, for four years, and heartbreak and joy, and then some more heartbreak," said Suhr on her Facebook account. "To overcome it and come out on top is something that whenever I thought of I started crying, so I knew it was just going to be emotional, whenever I thought about how it would feel to win gold. Then I would think of how it would feel to be fourth, and I'd cry over that too. It was definitely something that I've wanted, I don't think I've ever wanted anything so bad.
Suhr also beat two-time defending Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who failed to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event at three consecutive Olympics. Isinbayeva settled for bronze with a vault of 15-5 (4.70).
The Suhr victory, finished out in the spitting rain at Olympic Stadium after all the other events had concluded, was a surprise gold for the United States on a night when it couldn't catch a break anywhere else.