Paul Burgess (athlete)

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Paul Burgess
Personal information
Born 14 August 1979

Paul Burgess (born 14 August 1979 in Perth, Western Australia) is an Australian pole vaulter who became only the thirteenth pole vaulter in the world to reach 6 metres.



Burgess was originally a gymnast, winning a silver medal at the Australian National Gymnastics Championships as a thirteen-year-old. Having grown too tall to continue with gymnastics, testing at the Western Australian Institute of Sport suggested that Burgess was suited to pole vault. By 1996, Burgess had won the gold medal at the 1996 Sydney World Junior Championships, clearing a then-personal best of 5.35 metres. Later that year Burgess set the under 18 Australian record of 5.51 metres. In 1998, Burgess finished second at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, third at the World Junior Championships and seventh at the World Cup.

The Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) is an elite sports institute set up in 1983 by the Government of Western Australia to support athletes in Western Australia. Previously, if elite athletes from Western Australian needed to train or receive coaching at an international level they had to move to one of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) campuses which were generally based in the eastern states. The founding director was Wally Foreman who held the position for 17 years until 2001.

1998 Commonwealth Games 16th edition of the Commonwealth Games

The 1998 Commonwealth Games(Malay: Sukan Komanwel 1998), officially known as the XVI Commonwealth Games(Malay: Sukan Komanwel ke-16), was a multi-sport event held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This edition is marked by several unprecedented facts in the history of the event. The 1998 games were the first held in an Asian country and the last Commonwealth Games of the 20th century. This was also the first time the games took place in a nation with a head of state other than the Head of the Commonwealth, and the first time the games were held in a country whose majority of the population did not have English as the first language. For the first time ever, the games included team sports. The other bid from the 1998 games came from Adelaide in Australia. Malaysia was the eighth nation to host the Commonwealth Games after Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Jamaica and Scotland. Around 3638 athletes from 69 Commonwealth member nations participated at the games which featured 214 events in 15 sports with 34 of them collected medals.

Burgess finished second at the East Asian Games in 2001, clearing 5.50 metres. In 2002, Burgess finished fifth at the World Cup, clearing 5.20 metres.

East Asian Games multi-sport event

The East Asian Games was a multi-sport event organised by the East Asian Games Association (EAGA) and held every four years from 1993 to 2013 among athletes from East Asian countries and territories of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), as well as the Pacific island of Guam, which is a member of the Oceania National Olympic Committees.

At his second Olympics, in 2004, Burgess finished eleventh at 5.55 metres, although he had cleared 5.70 metres in the qualifying rounds.

2004 Summer Olympics Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, held in Athens in 2004

The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004 with the motto Welcome Home.

It was, however, in 2005 that Burgess's form improved dramatically, clearing 5.91 metres, 5.95 metres and then 6.00 metres in domestic competition. These were, at the time, the three highest vaults on Australian soil.

Burgess ended the 2006 European season as the number two ranked pole vaulter (behind training partner Steven Hooker), having won the World Athletics Final on 10 September 2006. Burgess won US$30,000 in the process.

He was named Western Australian Sports Star of the Year in January 2006. [1]

The Western Australian Sports Star Award, currently known as The West AustralianRAC Sports Star Award, is an annual award for sportspeople from the Australian state of Western Australia and/or playing for teams based in Western Australia. It has been running since 1956.

See also

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  1. "Burgess best in the West". The West Australian. 10 January 2007. Archived from the original on 16 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Flag of the United States.svg Timothy Mack
Men's Pole Vault Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Flag of the United States.svg Brad Walker