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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Hooker aims to eclipse Bubka

Hooker aims to eclipse Bubka

February 08, 2009 11:27 IST

Australian Olympic champion Steve Hooker became the world's second-highest indoor pole vaulter when he cleared 6.06 metres at the Boston Indoor Games on Saturday.

Only Ukrainian Sergei Bubka, whose world record is 6.15 metres, has jumped higher.

After clearing 6.06m, Hooker made three unsuccessful attempts at 6.16m in a bid to eclipse Bubka's record.

"There is no one between me and the world record," said 26-year-old Hooker, whose shin was bleeding after his vaults. "It'll happen, I think. If things keep progressing as they are and I stay healthy."

The Australian, whose previous best was the 6.01m he cleared in New York last month, won the competition at 5.87m, then cleared 6.06m on his third attempt to surpass the 6.02m jointly held by Russian Radion Gataullin and American Jeff Hartwig.

Gataullin cleared 6.02m in 1989, while Hartwig did it in 2002.

Bubka set the world record at Donetsk, Ukraine on February 21, 1993 and has cleared 6.03 or higher 10 other times indoors, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations.

American Olympic silver medallist Jenn Stuczynski cleared 4.82 metres in the women's pole vault, breaking Stacy Dragila's 2004 national record of 4.81 metres.

Only two women have jumped higher than Stuczynski -- Russian Yelena Isinbayeva, whose 2008 world record is 4.95 metres, and her compatriot Svetlana Feofanova who cleared 4.85 metres in 2004.

Ethiopian Sentayehu Ejigu beat American Shalane Flanagan by less than a hundredth of a second in the women's 5,000 metres. Ejigu pulled ahead in the closing seconds to clock 14:47.613, ahead of Flanagan's 14:47.618.

New Zealand's Nick Willis joined two others in also posting top performances of the season at the sold-out meet.

Willis, the Beijing 1,500 metres bronze medallist, completed the mile in 3:53.54 to defeat Mexico's Pablo Solares while American Lindsey Gallo won the women's mile in 4:27.90, edging Ethiopian Mestawot Tadesse.

US sprinter Shalonda Solomon ran 200 metres in 23:17 seconds for another season's best time.

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