Canada’s pole vault world champion Shawn Barber joined the exclusive six-metre club on Friday, January 15 at a meet in Reno, Nevada.
The feat obliterated his Canadian indoor record of 5.92 metres, which he attained at a wild event held inside a train station in Zurich last September. Here’s the leap in Reno:
His Nevada exploits made Barber a member of a very exclusive club, in which only eight other men have ever cleared the elusive 6.00m height at an indoor competition.
Barber is no different from other elite athletes in displaying a highly competitive streak that pushes him to be better than his previous event. It is however, his consistency and rapid progression in this discipline that sets the 21-year old apart from most.
A look at Barber’s other achievements over a short period of time:
5.35m – 2013 Pan Am Juniors
Canada knew it had a potential future star on its hands when then 19-year old Barber took top spot at the 2013 Pan American Junior Games in Medellin, Colombia with a 5.35m jump. His full first name – the way it often appears on official documents – is “Shawnacy,” which the podium announcer promptly butchered as the above video shows.
5.45m – Glasgow 2014
A few months after his 20th birthday, Barber took the Commonwealth Games bronze medal in Glasgow on August 1, 2014 with a jump of 5.45m behind Englishmen Steven Lewis and Luke Cutts, who each reached 5.55m before Lewis beat Cutts in a jump-off.
5.91m – NCAA 2015 Indoors
On March 13, 2015 – still 20 – Barber defended his NCAA indoor pole vault title, breaking his own collegiate and national records with a clearance of 5.91m.
5.93m – London Grand Prix
Four days after winning Toronto 2015 Pan American Games gold with a meet record-tying jump of 5.80m, Barber broke the national outdoor record with a 5.93m vault in London at an IAAF Diamond League competition. That mark remains the Canadian outdoor record, something Barber will be looking to knock down soon as he gets outside in 2016.
5.90m – World Champion
Barber’s biggest prize to date, the Canadian became world champion on August 24, 2015 when he nailed 5.90m on his first attempt, keeping a cleaner card than Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany who made the same height on his third try. Barber beat a Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships field that included Olympic champion and fellow six-metre club member Renaud Lavillenie. It was the second time in 2015 that Barber got the best of the French legend after overtaking him at the Drake Relays in the spring of that year.