Loic Gasch, SUI, silver, 2.34m SB, Sanghyeok Woo, KOR, 2.34m, Gianmarco Tambieri, ITA, 2.31m, SB, Hamish Kerr, NZ, 2.31m SB, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Both high jumps were stellar events, this is Stuart Weir’s column on the Men’s high jump!
Men’s high jump
Yesterday’s women’s high jump competition was a superb competition. Could the men’s this morning live up to it? In a word, yes! It helped that it was a field-event-dominated morning. It helped that the high jump was located on the back straight where most of the spectators were.
There were twelve athletes from four continents. We only lacked an African and, I suppose, a penguin from Antarctica. Ten men cleared 2:24m, five were over 2:31. They were: Sanghyeok Woo from Korea, Loïc Gasch (Switzerland), Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy), Hamish Kerr (New Zealand), and Thiago Moura (Brazil).
Tamberi’s petition to stop the competition and award 5 gold medals was denied. The competition went on. It is the nature of the high jump that it ends in failure – 14 of the last 15 jumps. Of the five, only Sanghyeok Woo cleared the bar at 2.34m and he was declared the winner. A lovely moment was when Tamberi cleared 2.31m and then applauded his competitors when they joined him – in few other sports would others’ successes have been welcomed. There is something special in the camaraderie of field eventers.
The silver medal went to Loïc Gasch who reached 2.31m with just one failure. The bronze was shared by Gianmarco Tamberi and Hamish Kerr, each with two previous failures.
Woo gives Korea high jump gold! photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
A delighted, Woo, said: “Coming to Belgrade, I did not think about winning the gold. In fact, I felt like I had only one good jump today so I am happy that I ended up with the gold medal around my neck. It is very important for me because this is my first indoor season and I competed quite a lot. Every competition gave me more and more energy and power and I enjoyed it a lot. The crowd was also a very good factor today. For the outdoor season, the world championships are my priority and I want to attack 2.40m and to win the gold medal again”.