London 2012: Steven Lewis breaks British pole vault record

Steven Lewis

British pole vaulter Steven Lewis heads to the 2012 Olympics in fine form after breaking Nick Buckfield's 14-year national record on Saturday in Poland.

Competing at the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial, Lewis cleared 5.82 metres to claim victory against a quality field.

That field included world champion Pawel Wojciechowski and Olympic champion Steve Hooker.

His 5.82m currently ranks him fifth in the world, but he defeated three of the athletes who rank ahead of him.

Lewis, a two-time Commonwealth medallist, has made the past two world championship finals, finishing seventh in 2009 and ninth in 2011. But at the last Olympics in Beijing, Lewis failed to clear a height in the qualifying round.

The 26-year-old Stoke athlete booked his second Olympics appearance by winning the national title at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium last month.

The official British record before Saturday was 5.80m, set by Buckfield outdoors in Chania in 1998.

However, Buckfield's British indoor-only record from Bad Segeberg in 2002 was one centimetre higher at 5.81m.

Lewis's feat means that the British (outdoor) record is once again the highest ever by a British vaulter, though Buckfield does still own the indoor record.

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