News13 Mar 2013

World’s best high jumpers to star in Eugene - IAAF Diamond league


2012 Olympic High Jump medallists Mutaz Essa Barshim, Robbie Grabarz, Derek Drouin, Ivan Ukhov and Erik Kynard (© Getty Images)

Another clean sweep of Olympic medallists will grace this year’s Prefontaine Classic, part of the Samsung Diamond League, and this time it’s the men’s High Jump.

The all-star field is led by Russia’s Ivan Ukhov, the gold medallist from London who is aiming for similar results at this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

Ukhov, who will turn 27 later this month, is the latest of many Russians to lead the world in the men’s High Jump. He returns to the Pre Classic on June 1, heading the strongest High Jump field in the meet’s 39-year history. With a PB of 2.40m, only three men in history have ever jumped higher indoors.

Ukhov will be familiar with the competitors who stood with him on the same podium in London – all four of them, as the bronze medal was split between three athletes. USA’s Erik Kynard won the NCAA title last year with a lifetime best of 2.34m, then came within one centimetre of that mark to take the silver medal at the Olympics.

Like Kynard, Derek Drouin of Canada also competes on the US collegiate circuit. He took bronze at the Olympics last year and more recently beat Kynard to the NCAA indoor title, which he won with a Canadian record of 2.35m.

The two other bronze medallists from London are also confirmed for the field, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain. Barshim, just 21 years old, last year jointly led the world lists with Ukhov, both of them jumping 2.39m. The Asian record-holder indoors and outdoors, Barshim equalled his indoor PB this year with 2.37m to top the indoor world lists.

Grabarz last year won the European Championships before taking bronze at the Olympics. He also equalled the UK record in Lausanne with 2.37m and his consistency was rewarded when he was announced the overall High Jump winner of the Diamond League race.

Also in the field is World champion Jesse Williams of the USA, who owns the stadium record with his PB of 2.37m set when winning the 2011 US title. That same year, Williams became the first American to win the World title since Charles Austin in 1991.

Russia’s heritage in the event will be represented with other stars, led by 2008 Olympic gold medallist Andrey Silnov, who won in Eugene in the same year he won the Olympic title. Attending Eugene for the first time will be 2011 World silver medallist Aleksey Dmitrik and European indoor champion Sergey Mudrov.

Add to the field emerging star 21-year-old Guowei Zhang of China, a finalist at the 2011 World Championships and the fourth-place finisher at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. In his sole competition of the 2013 indoor season, he broke the Chinese indoor record with a lifetime best of 2.32m.

Organisers for the IAAF

2013 IAAF Diamond League Calendar
Doha, QAT – 10 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
New York, USA – 25 May
Eugene, USA – 1 Jun
Rome, ITA – 6 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 13 Jun
Birmingham, GBR – 30 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 4 Jul
Paris, FRA – 6 Jul
Monaco, MON – 19 Jul
London, GBR – 26-27 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 22 Aug
Zürich, SUI – 29 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 6 Sep