In a matter of three days, Mariya Lasitskene moved the World Lead from 2.02 meters to 2.03 meters. The World Champion in the high jump also added a 40th and 41rst wins to her tally, again, hinting at her domination of the event.
At the FBK Games, held in Hengelo, The Netherlands in honor of Fannie Blankers Koen, a women who won four Olympic medals in post war London’s modest Olympic games, Blankers-Koen challenged the paradigms in place for women in sports: women never competed in their thirties and dear God, never after having had held children.
Today, in many events and championships, the women’s events are as exciting if not more than some of the men’s events. In the high jump, observing Lasitskene clear 2 meters is like watching a painter put the final touches on a fine painting. In Lausanne in 2017, Lasitskene cleared 2.06 meters, and showed the Swiss crowd a unique night of athletics.
At the FBK Games, her performance was also long and exciting. Lasitskene cleared 1.88 meters and 1.91 meters on her first attempts. She then missed one time at 1.94 meters, and focused herself once again. Her attempt at 1.97 meter was clean. Lasitskene then passed at 2 meters and attacked 2.03 meters, clearing on her second attempt. At 2.05 meters, her attempts were imperfect, as she was tiring.
Watching Lasitskene jump is like entering the athlete’s private world. She speaks to herself, and she masks most emotion. She knows what whe must do to clear the height, and it does not seem to matter if she jumps in front of five people or 50,000.
Her jumping Hengelo tells us one thing: watch for Mariya Lasitskene to clear better heights this summer. This writer hopes to see her soar in Berlin in August.