He won the world title in 2015 in Beijing by clearing a bar at 5.90 m and won his other major international crown the same year at the Pan American Games in Toronto. Canadian Shawn Barber, former world champion pole vaulter, died at the age of 29 at his home in Texas.

It was through a message posted on Instagram that Paul Doyle, his agent, announced on Thursday January 18 the disappearance of the Canadian pole vaulter, without giving details on the circumstances of his death. “A friend we will never forget. Canadian Olympic pole vaulter Shawn Barber has passed away,” his agent wrote on the Doyle Management page.

Shawn Barber is still the Canadian record holder indoors, at 6m, and outdoors, at 5.93m. “Shawn was also an Olympic finalist at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He will be greatly missed,” added Paul Doyle.

The pole vaulter, who had dual American and Canadian nationality, surprised by winning world gold in 2015 at just 21 years old ahead of the German Raphael Holzdeppe, and the favorite, the Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie. “I can’t believe you’re gone, Shawn. Rest in peace my friend,” reacted the French champion on Instagram shortly after the announcement, adding that the “pole vault family has lost an extraordinary person.”