Canadian world champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber dies at 29

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12:  Silver medalist Shawnacy Barber of Canadalooks on during the medal ceremony for the Men's Pole Vault during athletics on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Shawn Barber looks on during the men’s pole vault medal ceremony at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium in Australia on April 12, 2018.Dan Mullan/Getty ImagesCNN — 

Canadian world champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber has died at the age of 29, his agent Paul Doyle told CNN on Thursday.

Barber set the Canadian record for the men’s pole vault in January 2016. He earned a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and also won the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, later that year.

Barber passed away at his home in Kingwood, Texas, on Wednesday from medical complications, according to a statement from the University of Akron’s athletics department.

As a college student, Barber was a member of the University of Akron’s track and field team, where he was a three-time NCAA championship winner.

“Barber had fallen ill and had been experiencing poor health for some time,” the athletic department’s statement said.

The university remembered Barber as “a well-liked teammate and competitor” in the statement.

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 24:  Shawnacy Barber of Canada competes in the Men's Pole Vault final during day three of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Shawn Barber competed in the men’s pole vault final at the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing.Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

“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, which he confirmed to CNN. “It’s tragic to lose such a good person at such a young age.”

Barber made his Olympics debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and earned a spot in the final, which was later won by Thiago Braz of Brazil.

His best vault was 6 meters, which is still the Canadian record, according to

Barber is survived by his brother David, his mother Ann and his father George, according to the University of Akron’s statement.

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