By Alison Wildey
LONDON (Reuters) - There was no sign of nerves as Australia's Olympic champion Steve Hooker qualified for the pole vault final on Wednesday.
Hooker has been suffering a crisis of confidence this season likened to the 'yips' experienced by golfers and only made the Games after his sponsors put on a special pole vault event.
But the 30-year-old, with his hair tied back in a ponytail, showed no emotion as he sailed over his opening height of 5.50 meters in the Olympic Stadium.
That was enough for Hooker, who has a best of 6.06 indoors, to finish tied for ninth and secure a place in Friday's final.
"I got in a great opener. It was good to get that done and out of the way," Hooker told reporters.
"I did enough to put me through to the final, although it's going to be a strong field.
"There's still a bit to do but I'm here to see what happens. My training has been good, my body feels fantastic."
Germany's Raphael Holzdeppe and world indoor champion Renaud Lavillenie of France were the top qualifiers with 5.65.
(Editing by Mark Meadows)
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