In a few months, Shawn Barber might look back at a weekend in Paris that turned around his pole vault season.

Battling a swirling wind, the 23-year-old from Toronto cleared 5.62 metres to finish third at last Saturday’s Diamond League meet. While the result fell shy of his season-best 5.71 and personal best of 5.93, it matched the height of his rival and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France.

“He’s competing very well and that’s the thing people overlook,” Barber’s agent and part-time coach Jeff Hartwig said in a phone interview this week from Switzerland. “They see a world champion of two years ago with a [vault] of 5.90 … so 5.62 doesn’t seem like a great result.

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