(Reuters) – As he cleaned up after horses in his father’s barn, a teenaged Sam Kendricks thought how cool it would be to travel the world and pole vault in the Olympics.

A decade later, the globe-trotting Mississippi native still calls himself “a small-town boy who loves to have big adventures”.

Kendricks, 24, competes in the world championships in London starting this week and he will be one of the favourites after nine consecutive victories and the outdoor season’s highest jump, a U.S. title-winning six metres.

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