LONDON: Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim secured the global high jump title on Sunday, culminating in a winning leap of 2.35 metres.
Barshim, whose 2.43m best is the second-highest in history after Cuban Javier Sotomayor’s 2.45 set 24 years ago, has won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics and silver in the 2013 World Championships.
Russian Danil Lysenko, competing as a neutral athlete, took silver with 2.32m while Majd Eddin Ghazal of Syria had the best record of three men who cleared 2.29 to take bronze – his country’s first world championship medal for a man.
“My first big world championships gold and I was so determined to win it,” Barshim said. “I was expecting it tonight so I am glad I managed to fulfil my target.
“Let’s say, I was recovering last year. I did not want to put too much pressure on myself but now I am back in shape and feel I can go even higher. I do not want to retire one day with the feeling that there is still something left.”
Lysenko revealed that he suffered had injured nerves in his lead leg a week before the championships.”It was very painful even in qualification but especially during my warm-up tonight,” he said.
“I even wanted to refuse to continue in the final but after my first attempt at 2.20m I decided that I could do something special. I was trying not to hurt my leg, so my technique was not brilliant.”
Unfortunately Canada’s world and Olympic champion Derek Drouin was unable to defend his title in London because of an Achilles injury.
- Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) 2.35
2. Danil Lysenko (Authorised Neutral Athlete) 2.32
3. Majed Aldin Ghazal (Syria) 2.29
4. Edgar Rivera (Mexico) 2.29
5. Mateusz Przybylko (Germany) 2.29
6. Ilya Ivanyuk (Authorised Neutral Athlete) 2.25
6. Robert Grabarz (Britain) 2.25
8. Bryan McBride (U.S.) 2.25
9. Bohdan Bondarenko (Ukraine) 2.25
10. Eike Onnen (Germany) 2.20