Beijing Flash! Andrey Silnov wins High Jump, by Larry Eder

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Andrey Silnov won the Olympic high jump on his jump of 2.36 meters. This was Silnov's first Olympic trip and he had to fight dearly for his place on the Russian team-it required an additional jump off to determine his position. Those Russian selectors should get a few rubles for their wise decision here!

Defending Olympic champion Stefan Holm won the World Indoor this year, and his jumping was looking pretty darn good, but this is the Olympics and his 2.32 meter clearances would win other places, not here! Holm was relegated to fourth!

Yaroslav Rybakov of Russia cleared 2.34 m on his first attempt, but could not get any higher and took the bronze. He was given the bronze, because at 2.32m height it took him three times to clear 2.32m.

Germaine Mason, a newly minted British citizen, who used to jump for Jamaica until 2006 ( and still holds that country's high jump record), had a superb day and cleared 2.34 m on his first attempt, but again no higher and took the silver. He also had cleared 2.32 m on his first attempt, which gave him his silver on the countback.

The night belonged to Andrey Silnov of Russia, who had to win a jump off in Russia, and he proved the selectors quite bright. Silnov cleared 2.32 m, 2.34m, then 2.36m, clearing by a huge margin, to take the gold.

Silnov did try three attempts at 2.42m, trying to better the 2.39m set in 1996 as the Olympic record by Charles Austin in the Atlanta high jump wars.

"This is a great moment in my life and I want to say, Olympics I love you" noted gold medalist Andrey Silnov after his win to the reporters at the China Daily.

And remember, Prime Minister Putin visited the Russian team last week and told the team and all gold medal winners will receive $150k from the Russian government to thank them for their efforts!

For more info, please check http://www.american-trackandfield.com

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