WA sisters vault way to stardom
Liz and Vicky Parnov. Picture: Supplied

They are the Perth pole vaulting sisters who are taking the athletics world by storm.

And even though they are competing against each other at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Liz and Vicky Parnov are still the best of friends.

While 20-year-old Liz was selected for the London Olympics in 2012 and both women have appeared in past Commonwealth Games, it will be the first time the champion athletes have gone head-to-head in a major competition after Vicky, 23, qualified for the team earlier this month.

But rather than there being any drama between the two sisters, who moved to WA from Russia in 1996, they tell AAA Weekend they will be there for each other no matter what.

"There is still a rivalry there because, just like any competitive individual sport, you want to win," Vicky says by phone from Germany, where they are training in the lead-up to the Games.

"But because there is that family aspect, there is not that bitchiness factor that could possibly be there with other athletes."

However, preparing for such a major event does have its downsides, with the pair agreeing they have made sacrifices in their social lives for the sport.

"At the end of the day we do pole vault because it's a hobby and we love it," Liz says.

"It only lasts for a certain fragment of your life and certain people understand that and certain people don't.

"You just become quite selective in who you invest your time with, especially with boyfriends - you just have to find the right one."

Vicky is happily coupled up with Perth Glory player Scott Jamieson and says he is supportive of her career as he is also an athlete, while Liz is single.

Though the women are known for their prowess in the arena, they have also been garnering attention for another reason - as the latest glamour girls of the sporting world.

Following in the footsteps of their aunt, famous pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva, who was voted in the world's top 10 sexiest female athletes, both sisters have dabbled in modelling, with Liz recently signing with Vivien's Model Management.

"I guess our sport is quite revealing and my sister and I like to take pride in our appearance," Liz explains.

"It's hard for athletes to come across as glamorous because we are out there sweating and grunting rather than standing there looking all pretty and posing. I find it quite bizarre but it's nice in such a masculine event to look feminine."

After the games wrap up in August, the Parnov siblings' next goal is to make the team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

As Vicky puts it: "All the things I am doing now are just stepping stones to the Olympics."

The Commonwealth Games kick off on July 23 and will be broadcast on Ten.

The West Australian

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