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World champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber dies at 29

Barber is the current record holder for the men's pole vault in Canada, an achievement he set in 2016.
World champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber dies at 29
Posted at 7:42 AM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 09:42:51-05

Canadian world champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber has died at 29.

Barber is the current record holder for the men’s pole vault in Canada, an achievement he set in January 2016.

While an exact cause of death was not revealed, the athlete died of “medical complications” on Wednesday at his home in Kingswood, Texas, according to a statement from the University of Akron’s athletics department. Barber was a member of the Akron Track and Field program from 2013 to 2015. 

Barber’s management agency confirmed the news of his passing on Instagram, while highlighting some of his accomplishments.

In the post, Doyle Management called him "a friend that will never be forgotten."

"He is currently the Canadian record holder with his personal best of 6.0 meters and was the 2015 World Champion in the pole vault. Shawn was also an Olympic finalist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. He will be greatly missed," said the agency.

His agent Paul Doyle also spoke out personally.

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

Barber is survived by his mother, Ann, his father, George, and his brother, David.


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