Former world champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber dies at 29

Shawn Barber, a Canadian pole vault world champion and Olympian, died Thursday, his agent, Paul Doyle, confirmed. He was 29 years old.

Barber's cause of death is unknown, although Doyle informed the Associated Press that his client had health problems. Barber reportedly died on Wednesday at his home in Kingswood, Texas.

Barber's career pinnacle came in 2015, when he won the world championships in Beijing, clearing 5.90 meters on his first attempt. 

German opponent Raphael Holzdeppe equaled him on his third attempt, but both competitors failed to clear 6 meters, leaving Barber as the world champion.

Barber competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, reaching the finals and finishing tenth. Brazil's Thiago Braz won gold in that event.

Barber's career highlights included three NCAA titles at the University of Akron, two indoor crowns, 

the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships, the 2015 Pan American Games, and the 2016 World Indoor Tour.

Barber's career bests of 6 meters inside and 5.90 meters outdoors remain Canadian national records.

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