With a field boasting four of the five men who have cleared 2.40m or better this season, the men’s high jump is one of the most anticipated competitions at this weekend’s IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech.
Derek Drouin, the Canadian and Commonwealth record-holder at 2.40m, is expected to play a central role in that competition.
Drouin, 24, the world and Olympic medallist, spoke to the media at the joint LOC/IAAF press conference today at Le Grand Stade in Marrakech. Here are some of the highlights of what he had to say:
On his season overall, in which he has cleared 2.40m and won the Commonwealth Games title:
It’s been a season to remember for me. 2.40m was a monumental height. I’ve been very happy and very proud of that. Overall I think the season has been consistent and I’m looking forward to ending it on a high note.
On the competition on Saturday which features world indoor champion Mutaz Essa Barshim, European champion Bogdan Bondarenko, Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov and Drouin, four of the five men who’ve topped 2.40m this season:
Like every competition this year, I think it’s going to be good. There’s always the possibility of the world record so we could be in for something special tomorrow.
There have been 17 attempts at a world record height of 2.46m this season. When will Drouin begin assaults on the mark?
I would love to. Earlier in this season I had some very good attempts at 2.40m. Looking back I wish I would have taken some attempts at the world record but I was hoping that by the end of the season I would just get stronger and just get more consistent at the higher heights. I definitely plan to attempt that mark more often. Maybe even as soon as tomorrow.
On Barshim’s world record attempts in Brussels last weekend, his closest attempts yet:
(Brussels) was definitely the first time that I thought there was a very real possibility that we were going to see a world record. I think in previous meets when Barshim and Bondarenko were trying for the world record, their timing was a little off and they didn’t find the same form they had early on.
But Barshim was really on that day. That was the best that I had ever seen him. I was a little bit surprised to not have seen the world record. But I’m sure that he’s going to be in the same kind of form again. He and anyone else could step up.
On being in Marrakech and Africa for the first time:
I’m really excited, I’ve been treated really well. The hotel is really nice. I’m also a big fan of the weather.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF