Date: 23 Aug 2008

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Hooker wins Olympic Gold!

Australian Pole Vauter Steve Hooker set a new Olympic Games record in Bejing winning Australia’s 12th gold medal of the games.

In Australia’s first track and field gold medal since Ralph Doubell’s 800m in Mexico and first field gold medal since 1948 in London.

The Commonwealth Champion vaulted 5.90m to win the competition and then 5.96 to break Tim Mack’s Olympic record set in Athens 4 years earlier.

“The whole competition was mentally and physically the hardest thing I’ve done in my life,” Hooker said.

“It was more like boxing than pole vault. I was close to missing 5.80m but I made the big jumps when it counted. I’m just happy to put it together when it counts.”

“I didn’t care if I jumped an Olympic record or 5.50m. It’s all about winning out here. However, the Olympic record is really special to me. Tim Mack is a really good friend of mine.”

Steve said that he had been nervous during the competition, leaving the clearance heights until the third attempt on various rounds.

“I can’t believe it. I was not expecting to see more ‘O’s than ‘X’s on my scorecard. I didn’t expect to be there on my third attempt, and to do it three times, it’s very draining. I should have skipped the second jumps altogether. They were not working for me. I should have gone straight to the third.”

“I’m starting to feel like a pretty happy guy. You can probably see the look on my face as I go over the bar on the footage. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I stood at the end of the runway before that jump, and it was like something I’d imagined when I was a kid growing up.”

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