Hooker vaults closer to another title
Hooker vaults closer to another title

World and Olympic champion Steve Hooker needed only one jump to cruise into the pole vault final at the world indoor athletic championships on Friday.

Fellow Australian Scott Martin qualified for the shot put final, while compatriot Petrina Price bowed out in the first round of the women's high jump.

Hooker cleared 5.60m on his first attempt to make the nine-man final, which will commence at 9.15pm tomorrow.

Aiding the West Australian's cause as he chases the only major gold medal missing from his collection, European indoor champion Renaud Lavillenie missed the final after bombing on all three attempts at 5.60m.

"It was a hard morning," Hooker said.

"We got here at 6.15am and qualifying finished at 12.20pm.

"Now I need to get some rest and prepare for tomorrow's final. I know what I must do.

"It was a shock that Lavillenie didn't make it through but it will be a very competitive final."

Martin left it late before turning in a season's best throw of 20.61m to advance to the shot put final.

"My first round was terrible, 19.51m," he said.

"It felt technically good but it just came out soft. I had to harden up.

"I knew I had to improve on the final throw."

American Christian Cantwell qualified on his first attempt in the shot put with a throw of 20.72m.

The outdoor world champion is looking for his third world indoor title.

In other events, Croatia's defending indoor high jump world champion Blanka Vlasic was flawless in qualifying for the final.

Vlasic cleared all heights up to 1.92m to reach Saturday's final, as did Ruth Beitia of Spain and Marina Aitova of Kazakhstan.

Australia's Price cleared 1.85m before missing three attempts at 1.89m to finish out of the finals in 13th place.

The West Australian

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