Barber outjumps Holzdeppe for pole vault gold

Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:24pm EDT
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Canada's Shawn Barber nailed his first four jumps to win pole vault gold at the world championships on Monday, leaping 5.90 meters to win his first major global title.

Barber and Raphael Holzdeppe failed with three attempts at six meters but the German defending champion had cleared 5.90 on his third jump while the Canadian went over on his first attempt and thus claimed the title.

France's Olympic champion and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie had to settle for a fourth bronze medal in four world championships after failing in all three of his jumps at 5.90.

He shared third place with Poles Piotr Lisek and Pawel Wojciechowski.

With a bumper field of 16 jumpers in the final, Lavillenie waited until the bar was set at 5.80m, clearing it at the first attempt.

Only six jumpers moved on to take on 5.90m and Barber was the first to clear it, pumping his fist as he crashed onto the mat to secure a perfect record of four jumps out of four.

"I think I've been able to carry a lot of momentum from the big meets throughout the year and I've been fortunate enough to jump very well at those meets," said Barber, who had won U.S. collegiate indoor and outdoor titles as well as the Canadian and Pan American Games championships.

"I still feel very calm and I don't think it has quite hit me yet, but I'm sure that will come tonight when we start celebrating."

A student at Akron University in Ohio, Barber noted that his father had been a pole vaulter in Canada 25 years ago.   Continued...

 
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Canada's Shawn Barber in action during the men's pole vault final
Reuters / Phil Noble