Fresh off his Pan Am Games golden exploits in the pole vault, Shawn Barber broke the Canadian record at a Diamond League meet in London on Saturday.
At the prestigious IAAF series making its stop in England’s capital, Barber – four days after beating the Pan Am field in Toronto – cleared 5.93 metres in the pole vault to better his own national standard by two centimetres.
The Canadian went head-to-head against Olympic champion, world record holder and truly the most dominant person in this discipline on earth, Renaud Lavillenie. The two were the last men standing after Augusto Dutra of Brazil failed to clear the 5.93m mark.
Lavillenie raised the bar to 6.03 on his next successful attempt, which 21-year old Barber couldn’t match taking second place.
A Pan Am Games gold and a Diamond League silver on either side of the Atlantic Ocean in the same week, losing only to the best pole vaulter in the world – a pretty good week for Barber. He has the potential for a stellar outing at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, which will start on August 22 in Beijing.
Only 18 men have ever cleared the six-metre mark in pole vault, Lavillenie is at the top of the list with 6.16m indoors, while Sergey Bubka (6.15) holds the top outdoor mark. Whether in China or elsewhere, Barber seems eager to break into that exclusive club as quickly as he can and in the process, send Canadian pole vaulting to newer, once-unimagined heights.