Steven Hooker

Steve Hooker: 'I want to work on the number of positive jumps"

Steve Hooker meets with the press at the Oslo pre-meet strawberry party (Bob Ramsak)Steve Hooker meets with the press at the Oslo pre-meet strawberry party (Bob Ramsak) © Copyright

His first two Diamond League competitions have not brought Steve Hooker the results he wanted, but he still relished the Bislett 800 metres clash between David Rudisha and Abubaker Kaki.

“I went into the stands and watched it, it was a fantastic race. Those guys just absolutely went for it. I was on my feet after the first 100 metres and I’d lost my voice by the end of the race. To be there and watch that sort of a race, and the crowd getting into it as well, was very exciting.

“I like Rudisha. I enjoyed watching him run in Australia this year. His 400 in Sydney and his 800 in Melbourne was an exceptional run. He ran essentially by himself and ran a very fast time on what everyone else said was a dead track. I’m a big fan of his and hope he starts to break into the 1:41s later in the season.

“As for me, I know I’ve under-performed in two Diamond Leagues so far and I’ve got to find a way to get that confidence back in the next competition.

“I think 2007 was the last time I no-heighted and I guess it was similar circumstance. I no-heighted in two competitions in a row, Zurich and Berlin, and had to get it back.

“In a lot of ways I still am quite confident. I still have a good picture in my head of how I should be jumping and what I’m doing in training, what I’m doing in warm-ups - it’s just a matter of making that transition from what I’m doing in warm-ups to what I’m doing in competition.

“Physically  I feel fine, I’m not injured or anything like that. The body is OK.

“In both Shanghai and Oslo I warmed up very well but the competition didn’t go so well. In Oslo there was the added factor of the wind. Usually when I warm up well I compete well; it’s been quite a while I’ve warmed up well and it just hasn’t happened in competition. But this year is different, I normally haven’t competed at this time of year. It’s definitely a different feeling and I’ve had a different lead-in with regard to my preparation.

“Alex (Parnov) wasn’t in Oslo so I’m looking forward to having a chat with him this week and working out a strategy to get over this little slump.

“One thing I’ve got to work on is getting a good number of full-approach jumps in training this week.

“With all the travel these last couple of weeks I haven’t had the opportunity to do full-approach jumps in training. Obviously, I was hoping to do more in the two competitions as well, but I’ve had just eight jumps for only one clearance. Those numbers aren’t good and that’s what I want to improve. I want to work on the number of positive jumps I’ve had and the amount of jumps I’m actually doing what I want to do on the pole and on the run-up.

“So that’s the aim for the next week and also for the time after New York as well.

“I’m looking forward to New York. It’s one of my favourite cities. There’s plenty to do outside the competition. I jumped 6.01 at Millrose last year, so there are good memories for me. That’s always a good start.

“I haven’t competed outdoors there, but I’ve heard it’s OK. Jenn Stuczynski did one of her American records there.

“I’m just aiming to do some good training over the next week in Germany and then give it my best shot to try to make it happen.

“I’m pretty confident in what I’m doing. It’s just a matter of doing a bit more work and seeing what happens.”

Steve