Ukhov has a bad hair day | 19.08.2012
It took the crowd some time to recognise the Russian, not only because of his listless jumping, but because the wild man of the high jump had cut his hair short and was practically unrecognisable from his usual self.
"I lost two to three kilos in London," Ukhov revealed, "and that led to one or two little technical mistakes creeping in."
The meeting was won by Olympic bronze medallist Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar with a clearance of 2.35m from fellow bronze medallist, Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain 2.33m.
At 21 the Qatari is the youngest winner of the Eberstadt meeting but there was cause for double celebration since his winning height was also a national record. "The fact is I only came to take in the atmosphere," said Barshim, "because I have been suffering from a bad back all week."
It was the Qatari's third-time clearance of 2.35m that made the difference between the two men, but for the 24 year old Briton this has been a remarkable year. In Helsinki the previously unknown Bedford athlete collected European gold and then added Olympic bronze to his cabinet.
Three Russians followed in the results with Sergey Mudrov 2.30m, Alexandr Shustov 2.27m and Ukhov 2.24m. Sharing 2.24m with Ukhov was Germany's world junior silver winner, Falk Wendrich, for whom that height was a new German under-18 record.
Germans filled the first two places in the U23 category which was won by Mateusz Przybylko, 2.20m, with second place going to Sven Tarnowski on 2.14m.
The women's competition was won by Great Britain's 19-year-old Isobel Pooley with a clearance of 1.82m, short of her personal best of 1.90m set earlier this season.