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    World leaders Mahuchikh and Tamberi head the Banska Bystrica high jump fields

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    • World leaders Mahuchikh and Tamberi head the Banska Bystrica high jump fields

    Doha 2019 World Athletics Championships silver medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh will look to extend her unbeaten start to the year when she competes in the 27th edition of the famous Banskobystrická latka high jump meeting in Slovakia on Tuesday (2).

    The Ukrainian teenager, who is still only 19 although she is now in her first year in the senior ranks, set a world U20 indoor record of 2.02m last year – which is also a Ukraine indoor record – and then went on to win in Banska Bystrica 11 days later.

    This year, she has already equalled that height in Kyiv on 11 January and then notched up her eighth career clearance at two metres or higher when she went over 2.00m in the Italian city of Udine last Wednesday.

    The women’s competition in Banska Bystrica is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting and also features Mahuchikh’s compatriot and regular rival Yuliya Levchenko, who was third in this event last year.

    Levchenko also took silver at the 2017 World Championships and she was the only high jumper in the world who managed to defeat Mahuchikh last year, albeit on three occasions. In direct head-to-head contests, Levchenko holds a 12-8 advantage over her younger rival in their 20 meetings since they first met in competition in 2018.

    The women’s competition in Banska Bystrica also includes 2014 world indoor champion Kamila Licwinko of Poland and the Italian duo of Elena Vallortigara and Alessia Trost, all of whom have jumped 2.00m or higher in their careers. The latter is also a former winner in Banska Bystrica, having triumphed in 2015 and Trost also finished second in 2019.

    Sadly, this year the competitions will be held without spectators owing to Covid restrictions but with several of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold level meetings unable to accommodate a men's high jump competition – one of the scoring disciplines for this year – due to similar issues, the men’s contest in Banska Bystrica has been promoted in status and will count towards the scoring in the global top tier series.

    Italy’s 2016 world indoor champion and reigning European indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi – who won in Banska Bystrica just a few weeks before his Portland victory – arrives fresh from clearing a world- leading 2.32m in Ancona on Saturday.

    Tamberi will take on the 2018 European outdoor silver medallist Maksim Nedasekau, who was the joint world leader in 2020 with 2.33m.

    Other leading European jumpers in the men’s field include Germany’s 2018 European champion Mateusz Przybylko and Poland’s 2017 European indoor champion Sylwester Bednarek.

    Cuba’s Luis Zayas and Jamal Wilson of The Bahamas will return to Banska Bystrica after their one-two finish last year. Both men cleared lifetime bests, and subsequent world leads, of 2.33m with Zayas winning on countback.

    The women's competitions starts at 1630 CET and the men get underway at 1900 CET and both contests will be streamed live via
    Live results: