Off the podium

No medal for de­fend­ing pole vault cham­pion Shawn Bar­ber at worlds

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY LORI EW­ING

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.

AP PHOTO/MATTHIAS SCHRADER

Canada’s Shawn Bar­ber holds a pole in the men’s pole vault fi­nal dur­ing the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don Tues­day.

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