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Midweek Speak: Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis
Lewis - trip down under aims to give him a lift for summer

 

07 April 2009

Following a successful 2009 indoor season 23 year old British pole vault champion Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex Beagles) is looking for inspiration from friend and fellow vaulter 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist Steve Hooker, having spent six weeks warm weather training in Perth, Australia in preparation for the forthcoming outdoor season.

Lewis said: “Hopefully I'm coming back refreshed with a ton more motivation to go for more personal bests this summer. The facilities there were great and had everything I need right now to get in great shape, I loved the 400m grass track. I was training, surfing in my spare time and having a great time all round.”

The partnership of Hooker and Lewis, who are regulars on the international competition circuit and have known each other for three years, is significant for the Stafford born athlete as it confirms his prominence among the international athletics community and highlights his commitment to the sport.

“Training with Steve is amazing; we push each other really hard every session. Also in the training group is Paul Burgess who has a personal best of 6m so I’m learning a lot of both.” Said Lewis.

 Both competed together at last summer’s Olympic Games but had opposing experiences. Hooker set a new Olympic record at 5.96m while Lewis failed to qualify for the final without a single successful jump.

“I was gutted after Beijing but Steve did great, I was really happy he won, I know how much he has dedicated his life to pole vault and the problems he has had, so he thoroughly deserved it.”

Lewis has, however, shown that disappointment can evolve into determination. After a tough winter training schedule he began his 2009 domestic campaign with a win and new personal best of 5.75m at Vault Manchester early in the new year, followed by a first place in the Aviva UK Indoor Championships and European Trials in February where he booked his ticket to the European indoors in Turin, Italy.

In Italy, Lewis came close to his personal best, jumping 5.71m in his first major senior international final, where he finished just out of medal contention in fourth place. 

“It was great to get a good result in Turin, it was definitely what I needed moving towards the World Champs this year. Things have progressed well from the indoor season to coming out to Australia. Everything is geared towards the summer, and now I'm back in Loughborough for the final nine weeks of summer season preparation.”

So what’s next for the UK’s top pole vaulter? A medal at the World Championships in Berlin this summer? An assault on Nick Buckfield’s British all time record of 5.81m at one of the UKA Major Event’s this season?

He said: “Who knows, I am just taking each day at a time right now, looking after my body and building positive vibes that make me stronger in every way.”