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Hooker, Lagat sparkle at Millrose
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Australia's Olympic champion Steve Hooker recorded the best indoor men's pole vault in seven years at the Millrose Games in New York on Friday while Bernard Lagat won the Wanamaker Mile for a record-tying seventh time.

Kenyan-born American Lagat has now won the last five Wanamaker Miles in addition to victories in 2001 and 2003. The seven triumphs bring him level with Irishman Eamonn Coghlan for the most mile victories at the indoor meeting.

Hooker, 26, became the fourth man to surpass six meters indoors with a life-time best of 6.01-meter.

The milestone vault - and three solid attempts at Sergei Bubka's indoor world record - came in Hooker's first competition since the Olympic victory.

"This was a surprise, to do this well without full practice, but I'm just very happy right now," said Hooker, who bruised a knee a month ago when a pole cracked in Perth.

He made three attempts at 6.16, a centimeter higher than Ukrainian Bubka's 1993 indoor record.

American Derek Miles, fourth at the Olympics, was the runner-up at 5.70.

Lagat finished the mile in three minutes, 58.44 seconds, passing New Zealand's Olympic bronze medalist Nick Willis on the final turn of the banked track at Madison Square Garden. Willis was second in 3:59.48.

"I was fresh and fully prepared for that moment," he said.

The retired Coghlan, known as the "Chairman of the Boards" for his dominance on the former wooden track at Millrose, was among the 11,543 crowd.

"Eamonn told me before the race he would see me at the finish line with the trophy," said Lagat, who is also the 2007 world 1,500 and 5,000 champion. "I was really flattered by those words."

Five other competitors joined Hooker in setting world-leading performances for the season.

Terrence Trammell, a double Olympic silver medalist in the 110 hurdles, won the 60 hurdles in 7.45 seconds. Fellow American Michael Rodgers took the men's 60 dash in a personal best 6.51 seconds with Trammell second.

Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep edged Australian Sally McLellan, the silver medalist, to win the women's 60 hurdles in 7.95 seconds.

American Kara Goucher claimed the women's mile title in a personal-best 4 minutes, 33.19 seconds and compatriot Jenn Stuczynski, the Olympic silver medalist, was first in the women's pole vault at 4.71.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily Feburary 1, 2009)

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