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Maria Lasitskene retains world high jump title

Maria Lasitskene retains world high jump title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake impress as two British athletes clear 1.95m in same competition for first time

Maria Lasitskene lived up to her billing as a big favourite in the high jump to retain her title after a clearance of 2.03m.

Going into the competition with a PB of 2.06m from July to her name, it was thought that the world record of 2.09m could well come under threat.

As it was, the Russian – competing in London as a neutral athlete – attempted 2.08m for a national record. It wasn’t to be but that didn’t matter, with a successful title defence secured.

Silver was claimed by Ukraine’s Yuliia Levchenko with a 2.01m PB, while Poland’s Kamila Lićwinko cleared 1.99m for bronze.

“This final was not too easy for me but thanks for the unbelievable atmosphere at the stadium and the crowd’s emotions I coped with some problems I had,” said the winner. “My two failed attempts at 1.99m woke me up.

“I decided to go to 2.08m because that is not only my personal record but also the national record of my country.”

The next three-placed athletes all cleared 1.95m, with Germany’s Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch finishing fourth thanks to her first-time clearances to that point.

Finishing fifth and sixth respectively were Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake, with their results the first time that two British athletes have cleared that height in the same competition.

“I’m happy with that,” said British high jump record-holder Johnson-Thompson, who had struggled in that discipline as part of her heptathlon competition and finished fifth. “It was my first ever high jump individual final, so I am over the moon.”

“It has been a long week,” she continued, “but I’m so happy with how I performed, especially after how I performed in the heptathlon high jump, so I’m glad I got to bounce back.”

Lake was also pleased with her progress. “Last year I was just absolutely ecstatic to make the final and this year this is me coming sixth,” she said. “So I think that just shows how much I’ve moved on this year and in an environment where I’ll hopefully be challenging for medals in years to come.”

» Check out our dedicated online section here for more of the London 2017 latest and see the August 17 edition of AW magazine for full coverage

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