22 AUG 2009 General News

Gold - Steven HOOKER, AUS

I have no explanation except for the fact that I have really good people behind me: my doctor, my physio and my coach. I know it was a risky strategy I had to take. I needed just two jumps because after the qualification two days ago I felt strong pain, so it was kind of difficult to compete in the final. But I had a long break of 56 hours, so this helped me a lot. But this gamble paid off. I was tough enough to come and when I was trying 5.85m I knew that I can fight for the medal. I walked around. I still felt ok. So I thought that I can have another try.You must be tough to get through such an experience and I am sure it made me mentally tougher. My physiotherapist, doctor and coach helped me a lot to get through this. If this is the end of the season - I have to sort it out because the last two weeks were quite hard. Hopefully, there will be some more opportunities to jump. But definitely, I am not gonna rush back until my health has improved. When I won at the Olympics, this was the biggest day of my life. Today was the hardest day of my life.

I've nothing under the flag. Like in the video in Paris! There is satisfaction right now. Happiness will come later because, my mind is not out of the event yet. When you get through what I got through this year, this is very strong. This year I approached pole vault as a pleasure. I trained well, but not more than that. Hooker bluffed me, clearing 5,90m in two jumps. He's a great champion. To finish second behind him is not that bad. If sponsors come back after this performance, I'll welcome them with pleasure. I don't have a spirit of revenge.

I have mixed feelings. I came here as a favorite, but this was also my first championship, so I didn't know too much what to expect. This is not the medal I wanted but I'm still satisfied that I did everything to get it. Romain showed tonight that he is still there. We've managed to motivate each other throughout the season to go and clinch a world medal, even though we both hoped for gold.

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