Athletics: Averbukh comes seventh in pole vault

32-year-old clears 5.81 meters at Osaka; American Brad Walker wins gold medal after jumping 5.86m on his first attempt.

Averbukh 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Averbukh 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Alex Averbukh finished the World Championship pole vault final in seventh position on Saturday afternoon, clearing 5.81 meters at Osaka. The 32-year-old failed to add to his two European Championships titles and two World Championship medals despite clearing the same height as bronze medal winner Danny Ecker. Averbukh could only jump 5.81m on his third attempt, and as a result fell to seventh position behind Ecker, Igor Pavlov, Bjorn Otto and Yevgeniy Lukyanenko, who cleared the exact same height with fewer attempts. American Brad Walker won the gold medal after jumping 5.86m on his first attempt, with Frenchman Roman Mesnil taking the silver by clearing the same height with his second jump. Averbukh began Saturday's final by clearing 5.66m with his first jump and decided to pass on the next height of 5.76m. The Israeli returned to the competition at 5.81m, which he passed with his third attempt, and passed on the following height of 5.86m. Averbukh, who owns a career best of 5.93m, would have claimed the gold had he passed 5.91m, but the veteran jumper failed three times at that height and ended the event in seventh position.