Mutaz Barshim, photo by PhotoRun.net
BANSKA BYSTRICA (SVK, Feb 6): First half of the 24th Banska Bystricia high jump meet with music happened as expected. Full house of 1200 spectators saw World champion Mariya Lasitskene winning her 33rd competition in the row, although she struggled at 197 in third attempt. That was securing the win and she achieved 202 in second and had three decent tries at meet record and her indoor PB of 206. “The crowd was fantastic, but I did not had the best day, needed to adapt my approach during the competitions,” said Lasitskene Levern Spencer was second with 194 and tried at Birmingham standard 197. Karlsruhe winner Demireva after easy clearance at 191 passed 194 and went directly to 197 and closely missed (was 5th). Alessia Trost and Michaela Hruba tied for third with 191 and both had good attempts at 194. The winning streak ended for World champion Mutaz Essa Barshim after 12 first places. He lost on count back with Chinese Yu Wang who was jumping without a failure including his indoor PB of 231. “I was never thinking I could win against Barshim, it is big surprise for me,” added the Chinese who also had solid tries at 233. Barshim was flying, but also had one failure at 225 and that decided at the end of the day. “Tough to say something, this was not the day, I wanted to jump very high today,” said the Diamond League winner who was also at 233 way over the bar which closely fell down. He was also changing the length of his approach during the competition. 2007 World champion Donald Thomas impressed in his season opener with also 231 as third.
Maria Lasitskene, photo by PhotoRun.net