News14 Apr 2014

High jumpers seeking high notes in Eugene – IAAF Diamond League


World and Olympic high jump silver medallist Brigetta Barrett (© Getty Images)

Every medallist from the major international championships of the past three years is confirmed for the star-studded women’s high jump contest at the 2014 Prefontaine Classic, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, on 31 May, organisers announced on Monday (14).

Taking top billing, at least as far as the local crowd are concerned, will be reigning US outdoor champion Brigetta Barrett, who has the unique accolade among the eight women of having sung the American national anthem at historic Hayward Field.

The 23-year-old Barrett was the silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympics Games and at last summer’s World Championships in Moscow.

Her personal best of 2.04m is only one centimetre off the US record held by Chaunte Lowe. 

At Pre, Barrett will duel with the gold medallists from both London and Moscow, the Russian pair of Anna Chicherova and Svetlana Shkolina.

Olympic champion Chicherova, now 31, has earned nine medals at the Olympics and World Championships. She has the highest personal best in the field at 2.07m, a height bettered outdoors by only two women in history. 

She also owns the Hayward Field and Pre Classic record at 2.02m, a mark she set when winning in 2012.

Shkolina, 28, rose to global prominence last year by going undefeated and winning the Diamond Race, as well as the gold medal in her home country at the IAAF World Championships. 

She has only beaten Chicherova nine times in 39 meetings, but six of those wins have come since the 2012 Olympics, where she earned a bronze medal.

Two more major championship gold medallists grace a tremendous field.  

Poland’s Kamila Licwinko and Russia’s Mariya Kuchina tied for first place at the recent IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot. They'll be joined by the other woman on the Sopot podium, Spain’s Ruth Beitia, who won the bronze medal and who is the reigning European champion, indoors and out.

Filling out an awesome Russian quartet is Irina Gordeyeva, who won bronze at the 2012 European Championships and has a best of 2.04m while Italy’s Alessia Trost, 21, is the world junior champion and has already cleared 2.00m.

This is easily the best women’s high jump field in Pre history, with every entrant having a lifetime best superior to what had been the meeting record before Chicherova's big jump two years ago.

Organisers for the IAAF

Click here to take part in the Fantasy Diamond Race

2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep