Still only 19, the precocious Yaroslava Mahuchikh broke into uncharted territory at the Banska Bystrica Latka high jump meeting on Tuesday (2) evening with a phenomenal first-time clearance at 2.06m.
The 2019 world silver medallist made an auspicious entry into the indoor season with a 2.02m clearance in Kyiv last month and the teenager was in prolific form again at the most prestigious high jump-only meeting on the indoor circuit.
Mahuchikh cleared 2.01m and then an indoor lifetime best of 2.03m on her first attempts before asking the officials to raise the cross-bar to an outright Ukrainian record of 2.06m, a height that has only been cleared once indoors in the last decade.
After clearing 2.03m, Mahuchikh took a few minutes to mentally prepare herself for a height which would not only represent a national record but one of the highest ever jumps in history.
Approaching the bar with both speed and power, Mahuchikh propelled herself over 2.06m on her first attempt again, barely even grazing the cross-bar, before bounding over to her ecstatic long-time coach Tatiana Stepanova who was watching from the sidelines.
Mahuchikh’s clearance at 2.06m erased the long-standing Ukrainian record of 2.05m which was set by former world champion Inha Babakova in 1995. The reigning European U20 champion also joined some esteemed company by moving to equal third on the world indoor all-time list alongside Stefka Kostadinova, Anna Chicherova and Blanka Vlasic.
Only Germany’s Heike Henkel and Sweden’s Kajsa Bergqvist have ever jumped higher indoors with 2.07m and 2.08m respectively.
Mahuchikh nearly always finishes her competitions if she sets a lifetime best and she kept up this tradition, eschewing any attempts to either equal or better the world indoor record of 2.08m which was set by Bergqvist in 2006.
'First of all, I sincerely thank my coach Tatiana Stepanova. Without her, this result would not be possible. I went to Banská Bystrica, aiming to raise my personal best by one centimetre,' said Mahuchikh.
'After clearing 2.03m, I was already thinking about stopping, because this is our rule with the coach but then we decided to try to make at least one attempt at 2.06m and it was unbelievable! So far I can't even believe that I succeeded.'
Third last year, Mahuchikh’s teammate Yuliya Levchenko improved to second with a 1.96m clearance with 2018 world U20 champion Karyna Demidik from Belarus third with 1.93m.