Ivan Ukhov from another planet, clears 2.38m and close miss at 2.44m! by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Ivan Ukhov at Nike Pre Classic, 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ivan Ukhov just about cleared another planet when he easily cleared 2.38m in the high jump on Saturday. He then scared the world record with an oh so close 2.44m! Think Mr. Ukhov is in shape?
Ukhov from another planet easy 238 and close missing 244

HUSTOPECE (CZE, Jan 29): Unbelievable display of shape of Russian World Indoor Champion and Diamond League winner Ivan Ukhov in Southern part of Moravia in the Czech Republic. In his first competition of the season and the second leg of Moravia High Jump Tour before packed hall (800 people) he mastered in second attempt world leading and meet record of 238 cm. Then he went directly to world indoor record of 244 cm and first two and mainly second attempt were realistically close. And that happened before the eyes of current record holder Javier Sotomayor who was star guest at the event. Ukhov confirmed his is in top shape when he asked in the warm-up that the bar will be at 230 and he cleared it easily. In the competition he started at 220 and after one technical miss he went to easy 224, passed 227 and again easy over 230. Again passed 232 and mastered in first 234. Then his show continued with 238 second attempt very nice clearance. "I knew I m in very good shape. I had the feeling I could do it, that is why I went directly to world record. I think it will be possible in near future. I just need to work on some technical issues," said Ukhov who plans to jump now at Moscow Cup special HJ meet on February 3, Russian Winter on February 6 and Banska Bystrica in Slovakia on February 9. This Russian evening showed Aleksey Dmitrik clearing 232 in second attempt (he did not continue afterwards due to fatigue). European Champion Aleksandr Shustov had very close misses at 232 and was third with 230. Fourth another Russian Sergey Mudrov with easy 227 and close misses at 230, the same for 2007 World Champion Donald Thomas who fighted with his approach and still managed nice 227. 

Barcelona fourth placer Svetlana Shkolina cleared 196 in third attempt to win on Saturday evening. Then she tried to went over world leading two meters but was not succesfull. "I wanted badly today two metres, but did not manage. I hope next time, maybe when my coach Klyugin would be here, he would give the right advice to do it," said Shkolina. Young talent Mariya Kuchina went over 194 in first and confirmed her sensational improvement from last Wednesday in Trinec. She had close misses at 196 but is overall series winner. Israeli Danielle Frenkel twice improved the national indoor record with 187 and 190. After two close misses at 192 she tried once at 194. Legendary Yelena Slesarenko returned to indoor international scene after three years with 187. Sweden´s Emma Green injured in her first attempt at 180 and could not continue. After visiting the hospital it was confirmed as ankle muscle strain. 

Overall 7th Moravia High Jump Tour winners were Aleksandr Shustov (229+230, 459) and Mariya Kuchina (197+194, 391).

results: 1. Ukhov, RUS 238 MR, WL (220x, 224/1, 230/1, 234/1, 239/2, 244/xxx), 2. Dmitrik, RUS 232, 3.Shustov, RUS 230, 4. Mudrov, RUS 227, 5. Thomas, BAH 227, 6t. Barry, BAH and Baba, CZE 224, 8. Ninov, BUL 224, 9t. Owczarek, POL, Milokumov, RUS, Horak, SVK, N. Ciotti, ITA all 220, 13. Kroyter, ISR 220, 14. Moya, CUB 215

women: 1. Shkolina, RUS 196 (184/1, 190/1, 192/1, 194/1, 196/3, 200/xxx), 2. Kuchina, RUS 194, 3. Frenkel, ISR 190 MR, 4t. Simic, CRO and Slesarenko, RUS 187, 6. Strakova, CZE 187, 7. Maresova, CZE 187, 8. Francis, JAM 184, 9. Stepaniuk, POL 184, 10. Ustinova, KAZ 184, 11. Kufaas, NOR 180, 12. Dubnova, CZE 175, Green, SWE injured nm, Brambilla, ITA nc (fever)

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