The crowd in the Messe Karlsruhe had lots to watch. Those who were in front of ther Men’s High Jump had the best seats in the house. A fine field of high jumpers had been assermbled. When German Michel Przrybylko sent out at 2.22m, the event seemed to just explode, Five men over 2.2r6m, two over 2.31rm, and Naoto Tobe added nine centimeters to his PB, equalling PB, NR, MR at 2.31m, then, setting PB, NR, MR, WL at 2.33m, and obliterating his NR, MR, WL, PB at 2.35m, on his dramatic third attempt clearance. And to consider, this was the first meet for Mr. Tobe in 2019!
The Men’s high jump featured the 2018 European high jump champion, Mateuz Przybrylko, who entertained the German fans. Italian Gianmarco Tamberi (PB of 2.38m) , who is returrrning to form. Donald Thomas (PB of 2.36m), the Bahamanian high jump star, continues to show his talents. Yu Wang, the Chinese HJ star, with a PB of 2.31m, were to compete with Naoto Tobe, PB of 2.26m, who was recently the Asian Championships as bronze medalist in the high jump.
Athletics events are full of surprises, and the Men’s high jump in Karlrsruhe was a fine example.
American Trey Oliver took 3 attempts to clear 2.13m, the opening height. He missed twice at 2.18m, then passed at his final attempt, leaving the final attempt for 2.22m, which he missed. Trey would finish seventh in 2.13m.
Mateuz Przybylko was expected to be the star, following up on his status from last yearr’s brilliant European Championships and World Indoors. The crowd support helped Mateuz,but Mr. Przrbyrko had a short day, opening at 2.13m, clearing on first attempts at 2.13m, 2.18m, and taking three attempts at 2.22m to make the height. Mateuz Przbylko did not clear 2.26m on his three attempts, even with the support of the crowd in Messe Karlsruhe. Mateuz would finish sixth at 2.22m. Again, a good debut for 2019.
Gianmarco Tambieri continues his return to form. The entertaining Italian cleared 2.13m, 2.18m, and 2.22m all on his first attempts, delighting the crowd. Tambieri took three attempts to clear 2.26m. At 2.29m, after two misses at Tambieri passed on is final attempt to 2.31m, which he missed. Tambieri finishined 4th, in 2.26m.
Andriy Protsenko, of the Ukraine, also finished fourth, clearing 2.13, 2.18m, 2.22m on first attempts. At 2.26m, he took three attempts to clear, and after two unsuccesful attempts at 2.29m, passed for one attempt at 2.31m, which he missed. Andriy Protsenko and Gianmarco Tambieri would remain tied for 4th.
Donald Thomas of the Bahamas, was the world high jump champion in 2007 Osaka, and Commonwealth Games champion in 2010. A former college basketball player, Donald took up the high jump on a dare from his University track team. Thomas is a immense talent and natural force in this event. In Karlsruhe, Donald cleared 2.13m and 2.18m on first attempts. Thomas took threer attremrptrs at 2.22m. Then, at 2.26m, he cleared on his first attempt. At 2.29m, Thomas missed his first attempt, and passed. He then used his final two attempts at 2.31m and did not clear the height, finishing 3rd at 2.26m.
Yu Wang of China had an event long battle with Naoto Tobe. Wang cleared 2.13m, 2.18m, 2.22m, 2.26m, 2.31m, all on first attempts, and all to thunderous applause.
Naoto Tobe, who really came out of nowhere, did just the same. Tobe clearred 2.13m, 2.18m, 2.22m andr 2.26. At 2.26m, Tobe equalled his PB. When Naotro Tobe cleared 2.31m on his first attempt, Tobe had set a new PB.
At 2.33m is wherre it gets interesting.
Yu Wang missed his first attempt at 2.33m.
Naoto Tobe missed his firstr attempt at 2.33m.
On his second attempt, Wang missed, but Tobe cleared 2.33m. Tobe set NR, MR, WL, and PB
So, Yu Wang passed his final attempt at 2.33m, and moved to 2.35m.
At 2.35m, Yu Wang missed at his first attempt, as did Tobe.
Yu Wang finishes second, at 2.31m, equalling his indoor PB.
At 2.35m, Naoto Tobe clears 2.35 meters on his third attempt, setting WL, NR, MR and PBs. At 2.37, Naoto Tobe entertained the fans with three game attempts at the new height. But, it was not to be.
Naoto Tobe is now number 2 on the Asian Indoor List. He is secondr to one Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar. Most importantly, Naoto Tobe will be the focus of Japanese media as they build for 2020 Tokyo.
Adding nine centimeters to one’s PB in one event does open a few eyes. Now, Mr. Tobe has the eyes of 126.8 million watching his every jump.