Photo Credit: Getty Images

World Leader in the men’s High Jump, Mutaz Essa Barshim has finally claimed his first global title after extending his unbeaten run this season to the IAAF World Championships holding in London.

The Rio 2016 Silver medallist remained unruffled all through the competition and was in a class of his own as fierce competitor Bohdan Bondarenko didn’t even pose a threat, with the Ukrainian jumper exiting the competition in a distant 9th position after failing all three attempts at 2.32m.

A global title has long eluded the 26-year old who finished outside of the podium in Beijing two years ago where he placed 4th. He came close to winning the title at Moscow 2013 but ended with Silver.

Competing at the London Olympic Stadium on the final day of the 16th World Championships, the former World Junior Champion kept a clean slate, clearing 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m, 2.32m and 2.35m at first attempt. He was the only athlete in the field to clear 2.35m, before making three attempts at 2.40m which he failed.

Speaking with reporters afterwards, an excited Barshim said: “My first big world championships GOLD. I was so determined to win it. I was expecting it tonight so I am glad I managed to fulfil my target tonight.

“Let’s say, I was recovering last year. I did not want to put too much pressure on me 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. I want to give it 100 percent.

“When there are good opponents, good conditions, it can go high, I do not know how much. I like a bit pressure during the competition but when you know that you became a winner, you are just happy.”

Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) Danil Lysenko took the Silver medal after failing to clear 2.35m on all three attempts. His clearance of 2.32m gave him the medal.

It was an emotional Majid Eddin Ghazal who became Syria’s first ever World Championships medallist in the event after claiming Bronze with a mark of 2.29m.

He said: “I cannot believe what I did today. It is a first medal for Syria in my event. We haven’t had a world championships medal for many years.

“I had a problem with my knee before coming here but I didn’t feel it so much tonight. After the loading I have put on it today I am really tired but I am flying mentally.”

Meanwhile, two-time Olympic GOLD medallist in the women’s Discus throw Sandra Perkovic also became a two-time World Champion after reclaiming her GOLD from Moscow 2013 with an impressive mark of 70.31m.

The form of the 27-year old was not in doubt, considering that she set a lifetime best of 71.41m only last month in Bellinzona.

Perkovic said: “I really enjoyed this competition like I never did before. I am happy to get my world title back. My goal today was to throw over 70m because that I was sure that would be a medal mark. I would also like to break my own longest throw in London.

“I was confident in my power and in myself from the first attempt. I knew I had things to improve and I did it by trying to be quicker and quicker in the circle. That gave me the result.”

Berlin 2009 World Champion Dani Stevens was more than delighted with her Area Record (AR) and Personal Best (PB) of 69.64m which put her in 2nd position.

Melina Robert-Michon won the Bronze medal in a Season’s Best (SB) of 66.21m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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