Steven Hooker

India 'Fantastic' season conclusion

Steven Hooker celebrates winning the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (Getty Images)Steven Hooker celebrates winning the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (Getty Images) © Copyright

After taking his second Commonwealth Games title in the Pole Vault, Samsung Diamond League Ambassador Steve Hooker spent the rest of his time in Delhi as a spectator. Then he plans a rest at the end of a long, arduous season.

“India and Delhi have been fantastic.

“There was quite a lot of negative media before the championships, but I’ve had a great time. There have been small issues, but the big picture has been fantastic.

“The volunteer staff been great, the Village is excellent, the training venues are good, and the crowd for the athletics and the atmosphere stadium have been fantastic.

“Coming to Delhi was certainly coming somewhere different. It’s a complete culture shock and something I won’t forget. I’ll look back on the time I’ve been here as a very memorable couple of weeks.

“That’s half the point of doing these events, going somewhere different and new and having a unique feel about a championship.

“A lot of people wouldn’t understand the feeling Australians have for the Commonwealth Games.  Everyone that has come here has had an exceptional time.

“They’re called the Friendly Games and they live up to that. The feeling is that it’s very social, fun, more low-key than an Olympic Games or the World Championships.

“There is a very good feeling both within the team and between countries. It’s a fun competition to be at. It’s my second one and I’ve really enjoyed it.

“Today we’re going out to watch the hockey final, tomorrow the netball final and the marathon.

“Tuesday night (the final session in the stadium) was an amazing night of athletics. The 4x 400 relays were exciting to watch, both the men’s and the women’s.

“Then watching Alana Boyd (pole vault) and Jarrod Bannister (javelin) win was great. Obviously Alana is a training partner, so I know how hard she’s been working. It was an awesome night of athletics and I was pretty hoarse at the end.

“In my own competition I had a bit of trouble with my knee, which was why I let Steve Lewis take his final attempt at 5.70 even though a clearance would have put me behind.

“It’s not a concern, but the last month or so, I’ve had a bit of wear and tear in the knee. It’s an ongoing problem I’ve had for a long time and normally I can manage it, through my strength and conditioning program.

“But it’s been a long season and it flared up a little bit after my jump at 5.60. There’s a bit of swelling in the joint which puts pressure on tendon and that causes some pain. There’s no structural damage. With rest it will be fine.

“He had his second attempt at 5.60 before me and missed. I passed. I was still in front and thought, ‘if he clears it, he clears it’. I just wanted to give myself a bit of a break and attempt a higher height if I had to.

 “I’m going back to Melbourne for a couple of weeks off with family and friends to give my body a complete rest. It’s been a long, tough year.

“Then I’ll start slowly getting my way back into training start of November. That’s when I’ll start planning my next 12 months with Alex (Parnov).”

Steve