Mariya Kuchina wins women’s high jump, Anna Chicherova takes bronze medal
Youth beat experience on Saturday night as Maria Kuchina defeated her more senior rivals in a high-class final to deliver a third successive Russian success in this event at the IAAF World Championships.
A perfect record up to and including a personal best-equalling 2.01m earned the 22-year-old co-holder of the world indoor title the gold medal on countback as she edged two-time former world champion Blanka Vlasic and Anna Chicherova – boasting a combined a 64 years and three world titles outdoors between them – to the ultimate prize.
Yet both Vlasic and Chicherova should be hugely proud of their efforts.
The Croatian jumper has only two previous competitions behind her this year and had not competed prior to Beijing since the IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York in mid-June due to injury. For the 31-year-old to come out and better her season's best by four centimetres was a mammoth effort for the 2007 and 2009 world champion, who also had her best competition since 2011.
For Chicherova, it was a record-equalling fifth world medal in this event to now sit alongside Ukraine’s Inga Babakova in what was a record-matching seventh world championships women’s high jump final, a total she shares with USA’s Amy Acuff.