Picture: Gallo Images/supersport.com
Steve Hooker lines up in the Men’s Pole Vault final at the London 2012 Olympics tonight, hopeful of defending the title that he won in Beijing four years ago. After suffering from a serious case of the ‘yips’ as recently as a couple of months ago, the 30 year-old wasn’t given much chance of making the final but is clearly in the best form that he has been in for a while. His easy clearance of 5.50m was enough to secure a place in the fourteen man final where he will be up against a strong field. Although his season best of 5.72m is well short of the 6.00 metres that he cleared in 2008, Hooker is confident that he can jump higher than he has done in the past couple of seasons, something that he will need to do to win a medal.
Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie sets the standard having cleared 5.97m at last month’s European Championships, while Germans Bjorn Otto and Malte Mohr have the two next best clearances in 2012. Former world champion Brad Walker from the USA has been in decent form and is one of only four men in history to clear 6.04m.
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