Steve Hooker looks to retain pole vault title

Australian Steve Hooker says he is in fantastic physical shape and mentally in the right form to retain his Olympic pole vault title on Friday.

The 30-year-old, who also won the world title in 2009 despite being injured, is not the most consistent of performers but he qualified with his one and only attempt at 5.50m to confirm his place in the 14-man final.

"It's going to be a cracking final," said Hooker, who will be hoping for no repeat of his last appearance in London when he failed to get over once at last month's Diamond League meet.

"Everybody is in it to win it. There's still a bit to do, but I'm here to see what happens. My training has been good, my body feels fantastic."

His main opposition should come from Renaud Lavillenie, the 25-year-old two-time European champion representing France's most realistic chance of rescuing a desperate athletics competition with gold.

"I feel really good," he said.

"Now the final is in front of me and I feel released as for me the trap was the qualifiers. The final will be a totally different battle."

Ethiopian distance running legend Tirunesh Dibaba will bid to add to her remarkable medals collection by retaining her Olympic 5,000m title to complete the Olympic double for a second time.

The 26-year-old is considered the greatest female distance runner of all-time with three Olympic titles and four world crowns -- with two apiece in each of the events -- but she will face a tough battle against Kenyan ace Vivian Cheruiyot.

Cheruiyot, 28, is the reigning 5,000 and 10,000m world champion though she won those in the absence of Dibaba who was injured.

Dibaba, who will have tough as teak team-mate Meseret Defar alongside her, has said that if Cheruiyot is to take her title she will do so after the mother of all battles.

"It is always an interesting battle with the Kenyans and taxing mentally as well as physically," said Dibaba.

"It is a healthy rivalry and is a good spectacle for the crowd. However, I feel in good shape and prepared for the task ahead and I hope to deliver gold again."

Defar has had to play second fiddle to Dibaba on several occasions and has sacrificed her own chances for the benefit of her younger team-mate.

However, she is a great runner in her own right which has seen her win the 5,000m Olympic crown in 2004 and the world title in 2007 and should Dibaba falter she could still rescue gold for Ethiopia.

"I have a good chance," she said.

"I'm in a good shape and I'm feeling fine, but there are other strong athletes in the field and I will never stop fighting for it."

Bahrain will field two finalists in the shape of Ethiopian-born runners, Tejiutu Daba and Shitaye Eshete.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 15 wounded in 2 explosions in restive southern Philippines

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — At least 15 people have been wounded in two separate blasts that hit a police camp in a restive southern Philippine province where Muslim militants operate, police said Saturday. …

  • 15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp
    15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp

    Fifteen people including 10 police officers were wounded in an attack on a mosque at police camp on a remote Philippine island long plagued by Islamic militancy, officials said on Saturday. Successive blasts targeted the mosque inside Camp Kasim on the island of Jolo early evening Friday -- an initial grenade attack followed by a bomb explosion less than 10 minutes later that was intended to target police who rushed to the scene, local authorities said. "It seems the (first) explosion was set …

  • US missile cruiser docks at Subic
    US missile cruiser docks at Subic

    A US Navy missile cruiser has dropped anchor in Subic Bay as part of “routine port call,” amid rising tension in the West Philippine Sea stirred by China’s island building activities and other threatening moves by its forces. The arrival of the Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG-67) at the Subic Bay Freeport in Olongapo City yesterday was “just a routine port visit for ship replenishment and routine maintenance of shipboard system,” said Philippine Navy Public Affairs Office …

  • Agri, power sectors should brace for El Niño
    Agri, power sectors should brace for El Niño

    The agriculture and power sectors, as well as the general public should brace for a prolonged El Niño phenomenon that could further reduce water supply for electricity and irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday. Flaviana Hilario, acting deputy administrator for research and development of PAGASA, said the El Niño condition is expected to intensify from weak to moderate by August this year. Anthony Lucero, …

  • China to US: Help cool down Phl on sea row
    China to US: Help cool down Phl on sea row

    The US should help “cool down” the Philippines and realize that its meddling in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute would only stir tensions, a Chinese newspaper reported. “Washington should know its meddling in the South China Sea has been destabilizing the region. The US has vowed not to take sides in the territorial dispute, which involves China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. …

  • No stopping K to 12 despite SC case, protests
    No stopping K to 12 despite SC case, protests

    K to 12 is the fruit of years of comprehensive consultations involving different sectors in education,” Aquino said during the launching of the program at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City. Organized by the Department of Education (DepEd), the launch was attended by teachers, students and representatives from different stakeholders supportive of the K to 12 program. It was held two years after the signing of Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education …

  • MNLF pushes review of peace pact with gov’t
    MNLF pushes review of peace pact with gov’t

    The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) maintained its bid for completion of the tripartite review of the implementation of the peace agreement with the Philippine government in 1996. The MNLF’s desire to put consensual closure to the tripartite effort was relayed by its leaders to Sayed El-Masry, the special envoy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), during the annual foreign ministers conference in Kuwait last Thursday. The MNLF peace agreement with the government in Sept. 2, …

  • Noy to raise sea dispute issue with Abe
    Noy to raise sea dispute issue with Abe

    President Aquino is expected to raise the West Philippine Sea dispute during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan next week. However, there is no word yet if the Philippines will specifically ask Tokyo to join calls for China to stop its massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. Aquino will leave for Tokyo on June 2 for a state visit until June 5. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options