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[Herald Interview] Pole vault legend Bubka praises Daegu Worlds

DAEGU -- Korea’s first ever World Championships in Athletics, which concluded on Sunday after nine days of competition, will provide a “bright future” for Korean athletics, according to athletics legend Sergey Bubka.

In his pole vaulting career, Bubka won six Worlds titles, set 35 world records, and also won gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. The Ukranian’s world record 6.14 meter leap in Italy in 1994 has yet to be approached, let alone beaten.

Speaking with The Korea Herald at the Daegu Stadium on Friday, the former pole vault champion hailed the Daegu World Championships as a “great success.”

“I believe this championships has been very successful, and it will give good development, good promotion of athletics,” Bubka said.
Sergey Bubka (Oh Kyu-wook/The Korea Herald)
Sergey Bubka (Oh Kyu-wook/The Korea Herald)

In the decade since his retirement in 2001, Bubka has transformed into an influential figure in the sports world as an International Olympics Committee member, and also as the Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federation. He is also the chairman of the coordination commission of the Daegu World Championships.

Asked about the criticism about Daegu’s preparation, he said: “I see always seriousness of the local organizing committee, and I know that the organizing committee along with commission members and IAAF administration did a great job.”

Daegu has fulfilled his expectations and more, he said. Bubka emphasized first-class venues and services.

“Daegu has one of the best athletes’ villages and also beautiful stadium,” he said.

The pole vault champion agreed, however, that Korean athletics still has a long way to go to reach the world level. But he added that the Daegu World Championships can give a huge boost for its future.

“We know that athletics is not strong sport in Korea, but I believe (the Daegu championships) will bring younger generation on to the track and field, and a good future for Korean athletics,” he added. 

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@heraldcorp.com)
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