Steve Hooker
Steve Hooker

Pressure builds on Hooker

THE world will be watching to see if Steve Hooker has cleared himself of the yips during pole vault qualifying at 7 o'clock tonight.

Having cleared 5.72m on his third attempt in his final pre-Games hit-out in Poland last month, the defending Olympic champion and Australian athletic team captain has to prove that is not a one-off.

One man hoping Hooker (pictured) can deliver is Australia's chef de mission Nick Green - the last thing Australia needs in London is a team captain struggling to complete his event.

"Everyone will be inspired by the fact that he is building his confidence, which we are all looking for as the leader of our team," Green said.

"Steve is a competitor. He's a character and a real leader in his sport.

"I watched a video of him jumping (in Poland) and I noticed a sense of relief. He was very excited.

"If you look at the number, 5.72, compared to the 5.96 he jumped in Beijing, it is not the height.

"The Olympics is about competition. You don't often break world records at the Olympics."

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