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#1 Steve Hooker unsure why many athletes have withdrawn from DelhiSonnabendGuest10-01-2010, 10:37 AM
Pole vault superstar Steve Hooker says he can't understand some of the high-profile dropouts that have left him standing as arguably the star athlete of the Commonwealth Games. The defending Commonwealth, Olympic and world champion carries a pedigree second to none into the Delhi Games, which is reeling from a number of high profile absentees who either opted to skip the meet or pulled out with injury.
Third world shithole
High possibility of a terrorist attack: Munich 72 anyone?
"It's a personal decision for everyone and I think everyone puts their own value on different competitions, but this is a competition I value very highly," Hooker said on Thursday. "I personally can't understand a lot of the drop-outs because this is something that I've been looking forward to a lot.
"Not just the fact that it's the Commonwealth Games but also a big championship in India which is exciting, I think." In the absence of stars including Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Chris Hoy and Stephanie Rice, Hooker will be among the top attractions when the Games commence on Sunday. But rather than be daunted by the weight of expectation on his shoulders, Hooker plans to use his success on the big stage to his advantage.
"Some people say you're a gold medallist, do you feel more pressure going into a competition?" he said. "For me that just means I know that I've been able to do it in the past, so it takes a bit of pressure off me, as I know that I've done it before and it's something I know how to do." Hooker said he was mentally and physically fatigued after a tough year and was focusing solely on bagging a gold medal rather than jumping any particular height.
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