Steve Hooker sat on the ground beside the pole vault runway, not 10 metres from where his friends, and fellow daredevils, were lifting off. When the women’s 1500m started, he stood near the track to scream his encouragement for Russian girlfriend Ekaterina Kostetskaya. If you did not appreciate the emptiness Hooker was feeling, you might have thought he had the best seat in the house. But later, as the lump grew in his throat and the tears began to well, there were no happy memories from this night in the main stadium.
Hooker’s title defence had ended miserably, unable to clear the bar at 5.65m at any of his three attempts. At his peak, Hooker would clear that with a broom handle.Despite his vociferous support, Kostetskaya had finished ninth. Both had reached Olympic finals. An achievement of which to be proud. But her hard work, and his agonising struggle, had come to nought.The Australian public has watched, with perverse interest, the Olympic champion’s struggle to get off the ground. Hooker had seen Kostetskaya prepare for her own event “with absolute professionalism and integrity”. So he said he felt worse for her than he did for himself. But whoever was more disappointed, it was probably a good thing misery loves company read more http://www.theage.com.au/olympics/athletics-london-2012/hookers-agonising-struggle-comes-to-nought-20120811-240ti.html