Report02 Feb 2021

Mahuchikh leaps 2.06m in Banska Bystrica, highest indoor jump in the world for nine years


Yaroslava Mahuchikh in action at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Banska Bystrica (© Pavol Uhrin)

Yaroslava Mahuchikh’s rise continued – quite literally – at the Banskobystricka latka high jump meeting as the 19-year-old sailed over 2.06m at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Banska Bystrica on Tuesday (2).

The 19-year-old world silver medallist recorded just one failure on her way to clearing the world-leading meeting record height. Her winning leap is the best indoor jump in the world for nine years; meanwhile, the last time anyone jumped higher than 2.06m indoors was back in 2006 when Kajsa Bergqvist set the world indoor record of 2.08m.

Mahuchikh opened at 1.85m and got over it with ease. After another first-time clearance at 1.90m, she recorded her only blemish of the night with the bar at 1.93m, needing two attempts to get over. From then on it was plain sailing for the world U20 record-holder as she went on to clear 1.96m, 1.99m and 2.01m on her first tries.

Fellow Ukrainian and 2017 world silver medallist Yuliya Levchenko was the only athlete left in the competition at this point, but she bowed out with one miss at 1.99m and two at 2.01m, ending the day with a best of 1.96m.

Mahuchikh, however, was still going strong and gave the bar just a slight nudge as she successfully cleared 2.03m, breaking her own Ukrainian indoor record. Her clearance at 2.06m was even more polished and she appeared to make barely any contact with the cross bar.

Mahuchikh becomes the youngest high jumper ever to clear 2.06m, indoors or out. Her 2.06m leap is also higher than the outdoor Ukrainian record (2.05m, set by Inga Babakova in 1995) and adds one centimetre to the meeting record set by Blanka Vlasic back in 2006. Mahuchikh now moves up to equal third on the world indoor all-time list.

Gianmarco Tamberi, who opened his season last weekend with a world-leading 2.32m leap in Ancona, notched up another victory by taking the men’s contest with 2.31m.

The 2016 world indoor champion from Italy was faultless up to and including his winning height. Cuba’s Luis Zayas, the winner here last year, was once again in strong form but needed three attempts to get over 2.28m and 2.31m.

Ukraine’s Andriy Protsenko and Germany’s Mateusz Przybylko, meanwhile, exited the competition at that bar, having cleared a best of 2.28m.

Tamberi went on to unsuccessfully attempt 2.33m twice and 2.35m once, but he had already done enough to win. It was the first time since 2016 that the 28-year-old had won in the Slovak city.

The Banskobystrická latka is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver level meeting. Some of the Gold level meetings were unable to accommodate a men's high jump competition – one of the scoring disciplines for this year – due to Covid restrictions, so to allow for an extra scoring opportunity, the men’s high jump contest in Banska Bystrica will count towards the scoring in the Gold series.

Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics

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