Fassinotti and Kuchina head top line-up

Fassinotti and Trost set world-leading marks
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Italy's Marco Fassinotti here competing at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich last summer.

 

A high class field of some of Europe’s leading high jumpers will sharpen up their preparations for the World Championships when they compete in Eberstadt this weekend.

The 37th Internationales Hochsprung-Meeting is staged as a festival of the event between Friday and Sunday, with the women in action on Saturday and the men on Sunday.

Italian pair Marco Fassinotti and Gianmarco Tamberi will look to repeat their one-two from London but face top opposition.

It includes Russia’s Daniyil Tsyplakov, the gold-medallist from the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague in March, and Great Britain’s Robbie Grabarz and Canada’s Derek Drouin, the latter two who shared Olympic bronze in 2012 with Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim.

Tamberi and Fassinotti arrive at this European Athletics Outdoor Special Premium Meeting sitting second (2.34m) and third (2.33m) respectively on the European rankings led by Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko (2.37m).

As Fassinotti won with 2.31m at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London last Friday, his fellow Italian Tamberi was second with 2.28m, once more sporting a half beard, with his face shaven only on his right side.

"It has become my trademark," he said. "I like to be on stage and to entertain the audience."

The duo will make a bold bid for gold at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing next month and this week were named in a 36-strong Italian team which includes European marathon champion Daniele Meucci.

Like Tsyplakov, Russian teammate Mariya Kuchina left Prague with gold and she will look to put the finishing touches to her plans for China in Eberstadt.

She will face Croatia’s Ana Simic, who a year ago in Zurich finished third at the European Athletics Championships as Spain’s Ruth Beitia won and Kuchina took silver.

The official start list also includes Germany’s German Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch and Morgan Lake, the newly-crowned European Athletics junior champion.

The event begins on Friday with under-23 men’s and women’s competitions.