Tag Archives: Mutaz Essa Barshim

London Olympics Preview: The High Jump

The high jump, as with all technical events, is a tough event to call. In this article, I’ll be doing my utmost best to provide the facts and make a sound judgment on my predictions for the upcoming London Olympic Games.

Photo from Nigel Chadwick

Women’s High Jump

Anna Chicherova Анна Чичерова (2.02m SB, 2012 world leader) is the hands down favorite for the Olympic title. The Russian has figured in the top three of all major championships since 2007, crowning her gradual rise with the world title in Daegu, in an epic duel with archrival Vlašić. The once dominant Croatian has taken a low profile since the 2011 world championships, opting to skip the indoor season.

 

Chicherova (L) and Lowe (R). (Photos from Erik van Leeuwen)

Chaunté Lowe (1.98m SB in 2012), the American record holder and the 2012 World Indoor Champion, has shown fine form this year. So has Svetlana Shkolina (Светлана Школина), who has recently cleared a new outdoor personal best of 2.00m in Eugene. The defending Olympic champion, Tia Hellebaut, has gradually recovered her old winning form since making a comeback from pregnancy and retirement. To date, the Belgian has a season’s best of 1.96m.

    

Hellebaut (L), Di Martino (C), and Friedrich (R). (Photos from Erik van Leeuwen and InsaneDesign)

Chicherova is my pick to win the London Olympic gold medal. She has played bridesmaid for so long. At 29-years old and having played bridesmaid for so long. London should be the Russian’s playground – and the crowning glory of an illustrious career. In the battle for the minor medals, Lowe is ahead of the pack. Hellebaut, should she recover her old form, and the evergreen Antonietta Di Martino have strong chances to land a podium spot – although beating Chicherova and Lowe seem far-fetched.

The in-from Shkolina, a resurgent Emma Green-Tregaro, or the comebacking Ariane Friedrich might spring a surprise.

Vlašić’s recovery from an ankle injury has been hampered by a bacterial infection; hence, she remains “doubtful” for the London games, according to news reports.

The Croatian, with a personal best of 2.08m from 2009, trails only world record holder Stefka Kostadinova in the all-time list. Chicherova is fourth in the list, with her 2.07m clearance in Cheboksary last year. Friedrich, recovering from a torn achilles’ tendon, has a classy personal best of 2.06m from 2009. Lowe (2010) and Hellebaut (2008) have identical best marks of 2.05m. Di Martino has a lifetime’s best of 2.03m (2007).

Top Three Predictions:

Gold: Anna Chicherova

Silver:  Chaunte Lowe

Bronze: Tia Hellebaut/Antonietta Di Martino/Ariane Friedrich

Men’s High Jump

In the past three editions of the World Championships, the women’s high jump top three was spread amongst just four women (Chicherova, Vlasic, Di Martino and Friedrich). Whereas, in the men’s competition, eight different athletes figured in the top ranks (Williams, Dmitrik, Barry, Rybakov, Iaonnou, Spank, and Bednarek). Unlike the women’s event, the battle for men’s gold is wide open.

The United Kingdom’s fast-improving Robert Grabarz is currently in pole position, with his world-leading 2.33m clearance from the Rome Diamond League. The American Ricky Robertson (2.32m) and the surprise 2012 World Indoor Champion, Dimítrios Chondrokoúkis Δημήτρης Χονδροκούκης  (2.32m), round up the next two. The World Champion from Daegu, Jesse Williams, has a season’s best of 2.31m.

 

Williams (L) and Rybakov (R). Photos from Erik van Leeuwen)

To date, the highest ranked Russian is the mercurial Ivan Ukhov (Ива́н У́хов). Expect the other members of the crack Russian high jump corps (Aleksey Dmitrik Алексей Дмитрик, Yaroslav Rybakov Ярослав Рыбаков, Aleksandr Shustov Александр Шустов, and Andrey Silnov Андрей Сильнов) to turn in impressive marks as the their country’s outdoor season unfolds. The Bahamian Trevor Barry, the Bahraini youngster, Mutaz Essa Barshim, and Chondrokoúkis, are also prime contenders for a spot on the podium. Silnov is the defending champion from Beijing.

   

Ukhov (L), Dmitrik (C), and Chondrokoúkis (R). (Photos from Erik van Leeuwen)

In terms of outdoor personal bests, Silnov leads the pack with 2.38m from 2008. Williams is a 2.37m (2011) jumper at his best. Ukhov (2010), Dmitrik (2011), and Shustov (2011) has each sailed above 2.36m.

With such a lineup – and with no hands-down dominant force – selecting a definite top three is terribly difficult.  In light of the depth of talent, anyone could rise to the ocassion and crown himself Olympic champion. Barring any unforseen hitches, Williams, an experienced international campaigner and the reigning world champion, should have a slight advantage over the others.

I’m banking on a narrow Grabarz win over Williams and the rest of the Russians.

Top Three Predictions:

Gold: Robbie Grabarz

Silver:  Jesse Williams

Bronze: The Russians (Ukhov, Dmitrik, Shustov, Andrey Silnov)/Dimítrios Chondrokoúkis

Sources:

2008 Beijing Olympics Results

2011 World Championships Results

2009 World Championships Results

2007 World Championships Results

2012 World Indoor Championships Results

2010 World Indoor Championships Results

IAAF Top List – 2012 Men’s High Jump

IAAF Top List – 2012 Women’s High Jump

A Long Shot: Asian Hopes at the Daegu World Championships

The Daegu World Athletics Championships is just around the corner. South Korea will play host to the most prestigious gathering track & field athletes after the Olympic Games, the third time for an Asian country to do so.

Sprinter Usain Bolt, in light of his spectacular array of world records, is the undeniable front-act. Other crowd drawers are triple jumper Teddy Tamgho of France (a stress fracture prematurely ended Tamgho’s season, unfortunately), high jumper Blanka Vlasic and javelin thrower Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway. The Kenyan 800m runner David Rudisha, fresh from a slew of world records last season, is on the hunt to rewrite the two-lap mark once more. The sprints, as always, will provide fast-paced action as the rest of the world pits their sprinting might against the dominant Jamaicans and Americans.

Read the rest of the article on InTheZone.com.ph

19th Asian Athletics Championships Rundown

The Asian championships were held in the Japanese city of Kobe from 8-11 July 2011. This is the region’s most prestigious competition, a good warm-up for the Daegu World Championships in August. The big guns of Asian athletics took center stage, despite the absence of a few. Japan (11-10-11), according to an IAAF report, topped the medal standings for the first time since 1981, edging out powerhouse China (10-12-5).

Liu Xiang 刘翔, as expected, lorded it over the sprint hurdles field, setting a new championship record of 13.22s. Shi Dong Peng 史冬鹏 (13.56s) was a far second as he overtook South Korean veteran Park Tae-Kyong 박태경 (13.66s). Thailand’s Chamras Rittedet was the fastest Southeast Asian as he went under the thirteen second barrier (13.96s). Malaysia’s Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian ran 14.03s.

Mutaz Essa Barshim‘s 2.35m winning mark in the high jump was, without a doubt, the highlight of the meet. The reigning World Junior Champion tied the second best mark in 2011, en route to setting his nth Qatari record. Barshim, at merely 20 years of age, is a potential medalist in Daegu – should he overcome the nerves of high-level senior competition.

Read Jad Adrian’s posts on the Kobe Asian Champs here

Read Pinoymiler’s post here

The Philippine delegation came home empty-handed, as defending long jump champion Marestella Torres missed out on a podium finish. The Filipino record holder could only managed a best leap of 6.34m in the fourth round, way off her 6.51m winning jump in Guangzhou two years ago. Torres has a season’s best of 6.38m, set in Bacolod during the PNG. Rene Herrera clocked 9:12.34 in the 3,000m steeplechase, good enough for eighth place in a race dominated by naturalized Africans. Arniel Ferrera, meanwhile, narrowly missed the sixty-meter mark in the hammer throw (59.25m), placing ninth in a field of eleven. Ferrera set a season’s best in Kobe. Heptathlete Narcisa Atienza scored 5,041 points and ranked seventh.

As expected, Japan’s 2009 World Championship bronze medalist Yukifumi Murakami 村上 幸史 dominated the javelin throw his 83.27m fourth round flick. Murakami’s third round throw of 80.93m was also better than Jae-Myoung Park’s 80.19m.

Host country Japan stamped its class on every single relay event. The winning margins were quite massive. The Japanese men won by a straightforward eight-hundredths of second in the 4x100m relay over the Hong Kong squad, which surprisingly beat regional powers China and the slick-passing Thais.

On the distaff side, Japan was even more dominant. Anchored by 200m gold medalist Chisato Fukushima 福島 千里, the Japanese women led by a comfortable 0.18s over the Chinese.

In a high quality men’s long jump competition, four men went beyond eight meters. Su Xiongfeng won gold with his 8.19m leap second round leap. The 2009 World Youth Champion, Suphanara Sukhasvasti, clinched second with 8.05m. According to Jad Adrian, this is the best ever jump by a Southeast Asian.

Despite the absence of 2010 World Indoor Champion Olga Rypakova, Xie Limei 谢荔梅 entertained the Japanese crowd with her world-class 14.54m mark in the women’s triple jump. Uzbekistan’s Valeriya Kanatova (14.14m) placed second as India’s Mayookha Johny മയൂഖ ജോണി won bronze en route to setting a 14.11m Indian record.

Additional links:

IAAF article (Day 1)

IAAF article (Day 2)

IAAF article (Day 3)

IAAF article (Day 4)

Full results from the JAAF

Videos

Aoshin0507’s Youtube account

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