Olympic champ Mack blown off course in trials

CARSON (California): Olympic pole vault champion Tim Mack could not adjust to the windy conditions as he failed in his bid make the US World Championship team at the American trials on Thursday. 

Finishing down the field in a tie for seventh, Mack was well off a top-three finish that would have qualified him for the Helsinki championships in August. 

“Everyone else adjusted and I didn’t,” Mack said after clearing a disappointing 5.40m. 

He had vaulted an Olympic record 5.95m in Athens. 

“It has kind of been happening all year,” Mack said. “I just haven’t had a good rhythm. I had a calf injury and couldn’t sprint or vault (for two months during the winter), but that doesn’t matter right now. What matters is I was short on training sessions.” 

US indoor champion Brad Walker won the competition with a leap of 5.75m. 

Sydney 2000 Olympic champion Nick Hysong finished second with 5.65m and 2004 Olympic silver medallist Toby Stevenson was third on the same height. 

In other events, Olympic long jump champion Dwight Phillips was also beaten but he had the consolation of making the team. 

Miguel Pate, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2003, leapt 8.35m for the victory. 

Phillips was second at 8.28m with Brian Johnson claiming the third US spot at 8.09m. 

“It has been a long two years,” Pate said. “Before the injury I thought I was invincible.” – Reuters

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