Off the podium
No medal for defending pole vault champion Shawn Barber at worlds
Shawn Barber will be leaving the world track and field championships empty-handed.
The Canadian pole vaulter failed to defend his gold medal Tuesday after missing all three attempts at 5.75 metres.
The 23-year-old from Toronto won gold two years ago in Beijing.
But he has been inconsistent this season as he has tinkered with his jumping style. He arrived in London with the 16th best jump in the world of 5.72 metres.
He missed his first attempt at 5.50 metres today and needed three tries to clear 5.65.
The last two years have presented challenges for Barber, who had a disastrous competition at last summer’s Rio Olympics as he struggled in heavy wind and rain en route to a 10th-place finish.
A few months later, news broke that he had tested positive for cocaine before the Olympics, but was spared a suspension when an independent arbitrator ruled Barber had accidentally ingested the drug. Barber said it happened while he was kissing a woman.
Barber’s Canadian record is 5.93, which he set in 2015.
Elsewhere, Vancouver’s Liz Gleadle was 12th in the women’s javelin while Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, Alta., qualified for the final in the women’s 400-metre hurdles.
Canada’s Shawn Barber holds a pole in the men’s pole vault final during the World Athletics Championships in London Tuesday.