Averbukh reaches world indoor finals

Russian Alex Averbukh is one of four to clear 5.7 meters in pole vault at qualifying match.

alex averbukh 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
alex averbukh 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Alex Averbukh cleared 5.70 meters on his second try on Saturday morning at the track and field World Indoor Championships in Moscow to qualify for the pole vault finals. The reigning European champ will be one of eight in Sunday's finals. Averbukh, who missed parts of last season with leg injuries, has started 2006 on the right foot. Just two weeks ago he won a tournament in Gent, Belgium, with a 5.81-meter result. He was one of only four to clear 5.70-m. on Saturday, joining Americans Brad Walker and Jeff Hartwig and Ukrainian Denys Yurchenko as the medal favorites. Averbukh won the European Indoor title in 2000 in Belgium and bronze at the World Indoors in 2003 in Birmingham, England. The 32-year-old cleared his first height, 5.55-m., on his second try and needed three attempts to get over 5.65-m. Averbukh sailed over 5.70-m. on his second try. The finals begin at 3 p.m.