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British pole vaulter close to British record

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Newham & Essex Beagle Steve Lewis battled to a gallant fifth place in the Olympic pole vault final as he just missed out on breaking his own British record.

The 26-year-old Beagle set a new mark of 5.82 metres to smash the British record just three weeks ago, but after clearances at 5.50m and 5.65m, both at the second attempt, the bar was raised to 5.85m which meant he would have to break his own record just to stay in the Olympic final.

He was close with his first attempt, before a poor second attempt, but needing to clear on the third attempt to stay in the competition, he just brushed the bar to go out of the competition and finish in fifth place.

Earlier reigning champion Steve Hooker, who has a personal best of 6.06m, crashed out without recording a height, but others were finding their form with Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie the first over at 5.85, followed by Germans Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe.

The Germans then cleared 5.91m to put the pressure on the Frenchman, who took the bar up to 5.97m to try and storm ahead of the only other two men left in the competition.

And as the 4x400m relay boys stormed round the top bend, the Frenchman showed his powers of concentration to vault over 5.97m for an Olympic record height and clinch a brillaint gold medal. Otto was second with Holzdeppe claiming the bronze.

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