Hooker focusing on quantity, not quality on return

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – World and Olympic champion pole  vaulter Steve Hooker has modest expectations when he returns to  competition for the first time in nine months at the Diamond  League meet in Monaco today.

The 29-year-old spent the last month training in London and  will compete for the first time since winning Commonwealth Games  gold in New Delhi last October.

The Monaco field will include European champion Renaud  Lavillenie of France and former world champion Brad Walker.

“I’ve got pretty limited expectations, the main goal is to  get the swing of being in a competition again — it’s been nine  months,” Hooker was quoted as saying in a statement from  Athletics Australia.

“I’m not thinking about jumping high, I’m thinking about  entering the competition at a low height to try and jump a lot  of heights.

“That’s the goal, have as many jumps as I can and get back  into the swing of competition.”

Hooker believes the competition will be wide open in Monaco.

“It’s the usual suspects, the top guys in the world this  year with Brad, Renaud and Malte (Mohr) all in action so they’ll  be the main opposition, but as we’ve seen already this year,  each one is wide open,” the Beijing Olympic gold medallist said.

“Competitions with good conditions have been few and far  between for the guys this year, which explains why the best  height is 5.84m from Brad.

“If the conditions are good, which they usually are in  Monaco, then I think we can expect to see some good jumping and  it will be interesting to see where we are all at.”

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