Bob Ramsak is a long time friend of the sport. As one of the key players in the IAAF communications department, Bob has written about the sport we love for over two decades. He is also a fine photagrapher. This is his piece on day one of The Match.

Maksim Nedasekau.jpgMaksim Nedasekau, photo by AFP/Getty Images, copyright AFP/Getty

Maksim Nedasekau topped a world-leading 2.35m in the high jump to highlight the first day of The Match, the inaugural duel between the United States and a united European squad in Minsk, Belarus, on Monday (9).

Inspired by a supportive hometown crowd, the 21-year-old Belarusian topped 2.33m to secure the victory for Team Europe before having the bar raised to 2.35m. He nudged it slightly on his second try but it stayed on, adding two centimetres to Nedasekau's previous career best set when winning the European U20 title two years ago.

"Every time I made an attempt the whole stadium was applauding and shouting, I felt the support of every person here," said Nedasekau, whose earlier clearance equalled Ilya Ivanyuk's world-leading mark heading into the competition. He'll now head to the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 as a solid medal contender.

Ivanyuk, competing for Europe as an Authorized Neutral Athlete, topped 2.31m to finish second with Jeron Robinson of the US finishing third with 2.29m.

The US team took 12 of the 18 events on day one, but trails Europe 331-304 heading into the second day.

To read all of Bob Ramsak's article,

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