Former Husky Walker Adds Another Title
Sept. 24, 2007
by Paul Merca
STUTTGART, Germany--In a scenario similar to what he faced three weeks ago in Osaka, reigning world pole vault champion and former Washington Husky Brad Walker's gamble to pass a lower height paid off, as he cleared 19-4 3/4 (5.91m) and departed Gottlieb Daimler Stadion with the victory in the IAAF World Athletics Final, along with the $30,000 first prize money.
Walker was mired in fourth place after early misses at 18-4 1/2 (5.60), and 18-10 3/4 (5.76). After Germany's Bjorn Otto cleared 19-2 3/4 (5.86) to take the lead, and Walker followed with a miss at that height, the former Washington Husky elected to pass and move on to 19-4-3/4, as a make at 19-2 3/4 would do no good in the standings.
Australia's Steven Hooker and Germany's Danny Ecker were in the same predicament, and followed Walker in passing their two attempts remaining at 19-2 3/4.
Walker was the only man to clear 19-4 3/4 on his second attempt, forcing Otto to pass to 19-6 1/2 (5.96) in order to retake the lead.
Otto failed in his one attempt at 19-6 1/2, giving Walker the win. Walker took a shot at 20-2 1/2 (6.16), the first such attempt at Sergey Bubka of Ukraine's 1994 outdoor world record mark of 20-1 3/4 (6.14) in competition since Tim Mack attempted the same height at the 2004 WAF in Monaco.
Otto took second at 19-2 3/4 (5.86), with Hooker third, and Ecker fourth, both clearing 19-0 3/4 (5.81).
Walker made two good attempts but couldn't get his grip right on the third, jogging through the pit and then thanking the crowd for their support.
For more information on Washington state-affiliated track and field, please visit http://paulmerca.blogspot.com.
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