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Shawn Barber, Canadian world champion pole vaulter, dies at 29

Shawn Barber, Canadian world champion pole vaulter, dies at 29 Shawn Barber (Getty Images)

Shawn Barber, who held the Canadian pole vault record and became the world champion in 2015, passed away at the age of 29 because of health complications, according to AP News and CNN.

His agent, Paul Doyle, confirmed the sad news, mentioning that the cause of death is not yet known. Shawn, known not only for his athletic achievements but also for his kind-hearted nature, had been facing health issues.

“More than just an incredible athlete, Shawn was such a good-hearted person that always put others ahead of himself,” Doyle said. “It’s tragic to lose such a good person at such a young age.”

Shawn died at his home in Kingwood, Texas, on Wednesday, according to a statement from the University of Akron’s athletics department.

“Barber had fallen ill and had been experiencing poor health for some time,” the statement says.

Shawn's achievements

Shawn excelled in pole vaulting at the University of Akron, winning consecutive NCAA indoor championships in 2014 and 2015, along with the outdoor crown in 2015. He continued his success at the Pan-Am Games and the World Championships in Beijing, securing gold medals.

His personal best vault of 6 meters in 2016 in Reno, Nevada, still stands as the Canadian record.

Despite making it to the final in the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Thiago Braz of Brazil won the pole vault event, Shawn faced health problems.

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