Events & Meetings

2.04m high jump world lead for Mahuchikh in Cottbus

  • News
  • 2.04m high jump world lead for Mahuchikh in Cottbus

Yaroslava Mahuchikh opened her 2024 campaign in spectacular fashion when she cleared a world-leading 2.04m at the Internationales Springer-Meeting in Cottbus, Germany on Tuesday night (31).

The Ukrainian high jumper made it three successive wins at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze meeting, following on from her successes in 2020 and 2023 – with the intervening years having to be sadly cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions – and more superlatives followed after her stunning winning leap as she also set a meeting record and has never started her competitive year higher.

Cheered on by the 2000 capacity crowd in the Lausitz Arena, with the audience including the 2009 World Athletics Championships and 2018 European Athletics Championships icon Berlino – arguably the most famous mascot in the world – Mahuchikh opened her competition with a soaring clearance on her first attempt at 1.90m and she followed in similar fashion at 1.94m and 1.98m, the latter jump winning the competition.

Her first failure only came at 2.01m but she was well clear with her second effort to make her the first woman in the world this year to clear two metres or better indoors, or in a short track arena as it’s now known.

With the bar going up to 2.04m and the accompanying pole vault long finished, all eyes were on the reigning European and world champion indoors and out.

She just ever-so-gently nudged off the bar on her first attempt with her backside but, like at the previous height, their was no mistake with her second effort, just leaving the bar very slightly wobbling after a slight touch with her heels.

To the mild disappointment of the crowd, she immediately decided to call it a night, crossing her arms with a big smile on her face to indicate her work had been done, rather than attempt anything higher – belying the cliché that all vertical jump competitions must end in failure – but the attentive and informed set of spectators also understood that she has more competitions to come in the next five weeks leading up to the defence of her world indoor title in Glasgow during the first weekend of March.

Onnen wows the Cottbus crowd as well

Getting cheers that almost equalled those elicited by Mahuchikh was local star Imke Onnen in second place.

After struggling to find her form during the summer of 2023, and having not qualified for the last two World Athletics Championships after having been a 2021 Olympian, the 29-year-old Hannover-based jumper looked back almost to her very best in Cottbus with a clearance at 1.94m before going close on her second attempt at what would have been a lifetime best of 1.98m.

The meeting itself celebrated its 20th edition this year, having been inaugurated in 2002, with tributes and meeting director being paid to the founder Uli Hobeck, who will be retiring from his role at the end of this winter.

The men’s pole vault didn’t quite have the same thrill and level of performance as the women’s high jump but Latvia’s baseball cap-wearing Valters Kreiss and Ben Broeders got a share of first place having both had flawless records up to and including 5.65m before failing three-times at 5.70m and 5.75m respectively.

In the case of Kreiss, he equalled his personal best and national U23 record. At 20 years of age will still be eligible for the next year’s European Athletics U23 Championships in Bergen, Norway after finishing fourth in Finland last summer.

Relive all the excitement of the Internationales Springer-Meeting in Cottbus here on the European Athletics YouTube channel.

Full results are available here.

Phil Minshull for European Athletics

Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Broadcast Partner
Broadcast Partner
Preferred Suppliers
Supporting Hotel
Photography Agency