Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh amassed a faultless card to win gold in the high jump on the third day of the Tallinn 2021 European Athletics U23 Championships on Saturday (9) evening.
A first-time clearance at 1.89m would have given Mahuchikh the title on countback ahead of Sweden’s Maja Nilsson and Slovenia’s Lia Apostolovski but the Ukrainian went even higher, clearing 1.95m on her first attempt before soaring over a championship record of 2.00m also on the first time of asking.
At only 19, Mahuchikh becomes the first athlete to have won individual titles at all age groups. After winning European U18 and U20 titles in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019, Mahuchikh graduated to gold on her senior debut at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships and this title in Tallinn duly completes the set.
Mahuchikh wasn’t initially planning to compete against her U23 counterparts but the Ukrainian was fully vindicated in her decision to add this championship to her itinerary on the road to her first Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Tallinn is my beloved city so I really wanted to compete here. I was here for a training camp in the winter. In May, we decided not to come here at this championships because of the Olympic preparation but later on, when we realised I have only two competitions before that I really wanted to come. It was a good and nice evening at the stadium - all heights with the first attempt,” said Mahuchikh.
And her goal at the Olympic Games? “In Tokyo, I want to jump more than 2.05m, 2.07m,” she said. “I want to jump the world record.”
Reigning champion Kristjan Ceh from Slovenia was another of the standout names at these championships in the discus and he successfully defended his title, extending the championship record which he broke in the qualifying round.
Ceh added more than one metre to Robert Harting’s championship record with 65.59m in the qualifying round and the Slovenian put the mark even further out of sight of any prospective aspirants in years to come with 67.46m in the third round.
“It was a great competition and the first throw was already 67 metres. I tried to do more but I was a little too fast and couldn't handle it. I'm happy with the championship record, happy with the results, happy with the competition,” summed up Ceh who has also extended his European U23 record to 70.35m this year.
Ceh, who is also headed to the Olympic Games, was operating on a different plane to the rest of his rivals. The reigning champion won by more than six metres from Belarus’ Yauheni Bahutski (61.21m) while European U18 and U20 champion Yasiel Brayan Sotero from Spain added another medal to his haul with bronze (58.07m).
Another notable result in the field events came from pole vaulter Ethan Cormont who cleared 5.80m to claim the title.
Cormont needed three attempts to get over 5.70m but the French champion vaulted clear of his rivals with unmatched clearances at 5.75m and 5.80m, both of which he achieved on his first attempts. “Stopping at 5.80m - which is a new PB - was a smart choice because with the Olympics coming up, I need to be stronger,” he said.
Greece’s Emmanouil Karalis won his second successive silver medal with a 5.65m clearance while Norway’s Sondre Guttormsen and arguable pre-competition favourite Ersu Sasma from Turkey took a share of the bronze medal at 5.60m.
Full results here.