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Mahuchikh completes global medal set with high jump gold in Budapest

Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh now has a global outdoor high jump medal of every colour as she soared to gold in the final field event action of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 on Sunday (27).

The 21-year-old claimed the world indoor title in Belgrade last year – her first senior major international title – after becoming a world silver medallist in Doha in 2019 and an Olympic bronze medallist in Tokyo three years later. She went on to secure another silver in Oregon last year, finishing behind Australia’s Eleanor Patterson, but this time she turned the tables with a near faultless performance that was topped by a 2.01m clearance.

The 2017 world U18 champion went on to attempt a would-be PB of 2.07m but was unsuccessful with her three attempts. Defending champion Patterson, who sustained a foot injury during warm up at a competition in February, returned to medal-winning form with a 1.99m clearance to secure the silver on countback.

Her compatriot Nicola Olyslagers, the Olympic silver medallist, also cleared 1.99m for bronze.

“I am so proud to win this gold for my country,” said Mahuchikh. “Silvers from Doha and Eugene definitely were not enough for me. I have been one of the best woman high jumpers over the last few years and I badly wanted to become the best in the world officially.”

She managed an impressive series in order to achieve that goal.

Mahuchikh and Olyslagers entered the competition at 1.90m and cleared that height at the first time of asking, as did Patterson and Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko, who opened their campaigns with first-time clearances at 1.85m.

After 10 athletes managed 1.90m on their first tries, just three – Patterson, Jamaica’s Lamara Distin and Gerashchenko – achieved the same as the bar moved to 1.94m, while Mahuchikh and Olyslagers went clear on their second tries. After a scare at 1.90m, which she needed all three attempts to clear, Germany’s Christina Honsel also got over 1.94m on her second try, as did Serbia’s 18-year-old Angelina Topic, the world U20 and European senior bronze medallist. Britain’s Morgan Lake made it eight to progress to 1.97m, soaring over 1.94m on her third go.

Mahuchikh and Olyslagers remained neck and neck, both clearing 1.97m on their first attempts. Patterson was next, making it on her third go for a season’s best, and then Lake joined them, brushing the bar but not enough to make it fall.

Mahuchikh got another first-time clearance at 1.99m, as did Patterson, and Olyslagers and Lake both remained in the fight as the bar moved to 2.01m. For Lake it was a gamble, as she passed her final attempt at 1.99m to try a bar higher. She had a good go, but the bar fell and her fourth-place finish was confirmed.

This next height decided the medals. Mahuchikh soared clear over 2.01m on her second try and that ultimately got her the gold as Patterson and then Olyslagers both failed all three tries.

“Before every single one of my jumps tonight I said to myself that I had to win gold,” added Mahuchikh. “Only gold. For all my team that believes in me. For my family, for my father who could not come here to support me, but I felt his energy despite hundreds of kilometres between us. I had to win this gold for my country and all Ukrainian people who are still fighting for peace in Ukraine and for our independence. Thanks to them we have this unique possibility to compete at the international arena and to raise our flag.

“Physically and mentally, I was prepared to jump 2.05m and higher. That is why I tried 2.07m – a new national record. I had two very close attempts, but, if not tonight, then maybe somewhere on the Diamond League circuit.

“I received a crown from one of my British fans after my victory. Maybe I am looking a bit like a princess, but I can allow myself to be a princess for a few hours. Tomorrow we will start the next stage of our preparation. I am looking forward to getting another title from the Olympics in Paris.”

Given all she has been through, Patterson was also delighted with her medal.

“This silver feels like gold to me,” said the 27-year-old. “I am overwhelmed tonight. Obviously, Mahuchikh was incredible.

“The last six months have been so tough. I broke my foot, so to come here and win silver is special. I am proud of myself as it has been a chaotic journey.”

Jess Whittington for World Athletics


🥇 Yaroslava Mahuchikh 🇺🇦 UKR 2.01m
🥈 Eleanor Patterson 🇦🇺 AUS 1.99m SB
🥉 Nicola Olyslagers 🇦🇺 AUS 1.99m
  Full results

Credit: World Athletics

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