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Shawn Barber

Shawn Barber Clearance

Team Barber / Altius

Article: en.wikipedia.org

Shawnacy Campbell "Shawn" Barber (born 27 May 1994) is a Canadian track and field athlete specialising in the pole vault. He is the former world champion in pole vault having won the event with a height of 5.90 m at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing. Barber is also the reigning Pan American Games champion winning in Toronto in 2015 with a height of 5.80 m. Barber won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as well.

His outdoor personal best jump of 5.93 metres was made on July 25, 2015, it is the current national record. His indoor personal best is 6.00 metres from 2016 (Canadian Indoor Record). Barber is tied for the Pan Am record together with Lazaro Borges. He also holds the NCAA Collegiate Indoor Record at 5.91m.


After competing at the 2013 World Championships Barber failed to qualify for the final. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he met with success winning bronze as a 20-year-old in the event clearing 5.45 m on the first attempt but failing at 5.55.

During the 2015 season Barber set a personal best and national record of 5.91 m at the 2015 Texas Relays to set a NCAA Collegiate Record. With the first event of the season he set a world leading number. After the Texas Relays event he said "You know, six months ago if you asked me if I'd be jumping at 5.90 consistently, I would have told you 'No way.' But it's funny how things happen, and I couldn't be more grateful to be where I am right now.". Barber was 2015 USTFCCCA Great Lakes Regional Field Athlete of the Year. At the 2015 NCAA finals in June Barber won the event with a jump of 5.60 metres. With this title Barber became the only three-time NCAA champion for Akron after winning the 2014 and 2015 NCAA indoor titles as well.

Pan Am and World Success

The 2015 Pan American Games took place on Canadian soil in Toronto, Ontario. Barber jumped to a 5.80 there, tying a Pan Am record with Lazaro Borges who set the record in 2011. He had missed his 5.40 jump very badly in the early rounds, bringing on some nerves to both himself and the home crowd. He later explained the slip up as a result of earlier applying sunscreen with some residue remaining on his hands. Barber signed with Nike in August 2015.

Following the Pan American games in Toronto Barber next competed in the 2015 World Championships in Athletics taking place in Beijing. There he staked his name as a rising star cementing his status by winning the world title with a jump of 5.90 m. This was Canada's first world title in athletics since 2003, though Derek Drouin would match Barber's gold later on in the high jump in Beijing. After the win Barber said "I don't think it has sunk in quite yet, and I'm looking forward to the next few days when it does. I was fortunate to be very consistent throughout the meet. That was the name of the game. I came in knowing that it was going to be a meet that came down to first attempts. I couldn't have asked for a better competition."

He cleared six metres for the first time in January 2016 at the Pole Vault Summit, improving his own national record and becoming the first under-23 athlete to ever reach that height. Barber took this momentum into the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships. There had been a growing rivalry with himself and Renaud Lavillenie since the outdoor world championships, though here in the indoor event Barber did not meet those expectations. He finished fourth while Lavillenie would go on to win the event. Barber was disappointed after, saying that "The nerves were definitely there. Anytime you get together with this group of guys and you start jumping at these heights, it's definitely a nervous event. Coming through on those third attempts definitely helped, and it taught me a lot about my jumping style, and gives me a good platform to go on outdoors."

At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Barber placed tenth in wet and windy conditions. He cleared 5.50 metres before missing on all three attempts at 5.65.


Everything I've been working toward for is really coming together. I wouldn't trade it for the world

Barber holds dual Canadian-American citizenship, having been born in New Mexico and while his father George Barber went to school in El Paso, Texas, he was himself born in Kincardine, Ontario. Shawn graduated from Kingwood Park High School in Houston. Barber refers to Toronto as his hometown during competitions and says he chose to represent Canada to follow in his father's footsteps who was a pole vaulter for Canada in the early 1980s and competed at the 1983 World Championships and a competitor twice at Team Canada Summer Olympic trials.

We are thrilled to have Shawn choose Altius Poles, and look forward to helping him reach his potential.