VAULTER VAULTER

Steve Hooker has high hurdle to overcome after Shanghai flop

REIGNING Olympic champion Steve Hooker still has a mountain to climb if he is to be competitive at this year’s London Games.

Hooker crashed out of his first international competition of the year, the Diamond League meet in Shanghai, tonight.

In his first proper meet since he announced in February that he had developed the pole vault equivalent of the “yips”, Hooker did not clear a height in the damp and blustery conditions.

Hooker qualified for the Olympic team by clearing 5.72m at a small indoor competition at his training facility in Perth a week ago, raising hopes that he was back on track.

But in Shanghai, he entered the competition with the bar at 5.30m and could not clear it in his three attempts, despite holding a personal best of 6.06m.

However the conditions were clearly difficult, given the competition was won with an unusually low height of 5.65m (China’s Yang Yansheng).

 

In February, Hooker admitted that he had lost his confidence on the runway and withdrew from the domestic season so he could concentrate on the gruelling process of rebuilding his technique and self-belief.

After his Perth hitout he said he had taken “thousands of jumps, seriously” to get back to elite level.

“We stripped it right back to basics, made a real effort to get the things that were letting me down right and from there begun the process of building my heights up.”

However he recognized that it might still take time for him to “get into the rhythm of competing again, and doing that in conditions where not all the variables are controlled”.

Despite the Shanghai setback, Hooker is scheduled to continue on to Europe, where he will go to the Australian team’s training base in Cologne before opening his European season at the next Diamond League in Rome on May 31.

By Nicole Jeffery

From http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/steve-hooker-has-high-hurdle-to-overome-after-shanghai-flop/story-e6frg7mf-1226361203339

Steve Hooker

Leave A Comment